RICHMOND -- Virginia Democrats on Tuesday publicly mocked a Republican measure passed late Monday night that mandates a state study into whether Virginia should create its own money.

Democrats accused House Republicans of putting on "tin foil hats" and subscribing to conspiracy theories when they approved a resolution calling for a $17,000 study into an alternative currency "in the event of a major breakdown of the Federal Reserve System."

"Our constituents did not elect us for political theatrics," said Del. Mark Sickles, D-Franconia.

The resolution, offered by Del. Bob Marshall, R-Manassas, passed the Republican-controlled House 65-32 and is headed to the Senate, where it is likely to meet stronger resistance.

Marshall, a conservative stalwart who often uses his pulpit to shake his fist at the federal government, has had little success pushing his agenda this year. House leadership has vowed to block controversial social bills, and this is one of the few that have still managed to sneak out.