House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi held the floor yesterday for a record 8 hours and 7 minutes, in what was the longest floor speech in House of Representatives history. Pelosi was announcing her opposition to a Senate deal on the budget that was reached earlier in the day.
Pelosi’s opposition centers on that the budget deal reached between Senate Leaders Republican Mitch McConnell and Democrat Chuck Schumer, includes no solution for DACA recipients. Pelosi spent much of the time on the floor reading stories of individuals known as DREAMers – people who came to the country illegally, at a very young age.
In ironing out a compromise to the government shutdown last month, Mitch McConnell promised to bring votes in the Senate on immigration, defense and other Democratic demands. McConnell’s promise was on the condition that those things were not already included in any budget deal, and that the Democrats do not shut the government down again over them.
Pelosi says that without the same assurances from House Speaker Paul Ryan, McConnell’s promises are meaningless though. “Without that commitment from Speaker Ryan, comparable to the commitment from Leader McConnell, this package does not have my support, nor does it have the support of a large number of members of our caucus,” Pelosi said.
Despite opposition from progressive, as well as conservative, factions in Congress, party leadership, on both sides, expressed optimism that a deal would get done and that a bill would be on the President’s desk by Thursday night, in time to avoid a shutdown.