Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi, who emphasized her opposition with an unprecedented eight-hour address on the House floor Wednesday, has vowed to reject the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 without a promise of an open immigration debate. At 5 p.m., Pelosi, who is 77, crossed the seven-hour mark. "Come on. She was at the table", said an anonymous moderate Democratic lawmaker, referring to the latest funding deal.
The got a thank you from the National Republican Campaign Committee.
Wearing four-inch heels and forgoing any breaks, Ms Pelosi spent much of the rare talkathon reading personal letters from the young immigrants whose temporary protection from deportation is set to expire next month.
Chances of a government shutdown dimmed this week following the Senate deal, but Pelosi's public demonstration indicates a fight could be coming in the House. They will make their voices heard.
She spent much of her talk reading letters from Dreamers - undocumented immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children - whose protection from deportation is set to expire next month. "They've been enriched ... by the greatness of our country".
She added, "Our plea to the speaker is for us, for ourselves, to honor the values of our founders".
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House Democrats will likely spend the next 24 hours pushing to get a commitment from House Speaker Paul Ryan on floor consideration of DACA bills.
"I'm not a loyal Democrat", Linda Sarsour, a political activist who co-chaired the 2017 Women's March, declared during a fiery rally near Capitol Hill. She's trying to force Speaker Ryan into committing to vote an on an immigration bill. 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.
Whether or not it was Pelosi's intention, her choice of footwear makes a statement: She's not quitting. "It's time to get the job done".
"The face of the future for our country is all-American, and that has many versions", she said.
While Pelosi applauded parts of the budget deal, she said it did nothing to advance bipartisan legislation to protect DREAMers. "Let the House work its will".
And while technically filibusters are not allowed on the House floor, leaders of each party are allowed to speak for as long as they want during debate. And that "she never once stepped out of them during her 8 hour and 7 minute speech". "It's not an option for any of us", Berenice Davila, a 19-year-old Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipient from Texas, told VOA.
The mood in the House was in stark contrast to the comity in the Senate, where Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Democratic leader Chuck Schumer delivered laudatory back-to-back speeches on the accord, which would add almost $300 billion for government programs and suspend the debt ceiling until March 2019. She took advantage of a rarely used privilege which allows House caucus leaders to hold the floor indefinitely.