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) -- Members of the Wisconsin Assembly struck a deal early Thursday that will limit further debate over Republican Gov. Scott Walker's budget bill proposal and should lead to a vote on the measure by the end of the day.

The deal, aimed at ending the 40-hour long debate that began Tuesday morning between state Democrats and Republicans, was announced after 6 a.m. on Thursday.

Democrats have agreed to debate only 38 more amendments, with a 10-minute time limit on each argument. Wisconsin Senate Democrats were seeking more than 200 amendments on the bill, according to the


Web site.

If the assembly uses the maximum time for each issue at hand, the vote could come as soon as midday.

Democratic state Rep. Mark Pocan of Madison said that the agreement limits their right to democracy and that Democrats still plan to make their strongest arguments during the final hours of the debate.

"We will strongly make our points, but understand you are limiting the voice of the public as you do this," Pocan was quoted by

The Huffington Post

as saying. "You can't dictate democracy. You are limiting the people's voice with this agreement this morning."

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Tens of thousands of demonstrators have rallied at the Capitol for the past nine days to protest the bill. On Saturday, an estimated 68,000 people gathered to rally against the bill,

The Associated Press

reported. Some protesters spent nights on the floor of the Capitol as the debate was broadcast on monitors in the rotunda.

--Written by Theresa McCabe in Boston.

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