Pelosi, D-Calif., delayed House proceedings for more than seven hours Wednesday as she took advantage of rules allowing party leaders unlimited floor time and told story after story of so-called dreamers facing deportation under Trump's decision last September to revoke their protections under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.
She warned that without a promise to debate immigration legislation, "a large number of members of our caucus" would not support the budget deal, which could lead to the second United States government shutdown this year.
"The budget caps agreement includes many Democratic priorities", Pelosi said in a statement, including money to fight the opioid epidemic, disaster relief, and big increases for domestic as well as defense spending. Some scoffed at Pelosi's speech, meant to elicit a promise from House Speaker Paul Ryan to allow a vote on subsequent legislation to protect the younger immigration. Pelosi took to the floor at 10:04 a.m. EST on Wednesday-after the Senate failed to include Dreamers, the undocumented immigrants protected under DACA, in their agreement to fund the government.
Of course, filibustering is reserved typically for the Senate, and not allowed in the House, but since Pelosi is her party leader, she's allowed to speak for as long as she likes, and so has found the loophole. "Meanwhile, in the Senate, Minority Leader Chuck Schumer is celebrating the deal, calling it "'the best thing we've done' for the middle class and the economy", according to the Associated Press, and noting, "We have reached the budget deal that neither side loves but both sides can be proud of".
Pelosi also pledged to oppose a two-year spending deal announced by Senate leaders on Wednesday because it does not address protections for Dreamers. Eastern and she's still talking, more than six hours later. It was unclear if any House floor speeches before 1909 had gone longer.
While Pelosi spoke, immigration activists rallied in Washington and threatened retribution against the congressional Democrats who abandoned the strategy of demanding that a budget accord be paired with an immigration deal.
Government funding will lapse for the second time in less than a month if Congress can not pass a funding bill by midnight Thursday. "You know, she just wasted her time, everybody's time yesterday". (Image: AAP) "I have had the privilege of reading the testimony from Dreamers".
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