Published: Sat, February 10, 2018
Economy | By

Pelosi takes to the House floor to defend Dreamers

Pelosi takes to the House floor to defend Dreamers

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi gave the longest House floor speech since at least 1909 on Wednesday, talking for more than eight hours to demand a vote on legislation to protect young immigrants from deportation.

Pelosi is the flawless person to do battle with Trump if Democrats take back the House, but until then, Pelosi is making a stand and highlighting an issue that Republicans don't want to talk about, much less vote on.

This comes after President Trump said earlier this week that Pelosi's antics would end up helping Republicans and not Democrats.

"We've laid out what we would like to see in immigration legislation and I think it's something Nancy Pelosi should support and hopefully she'll come on board", she said during the White House briefing Wednesday.

"If a Dream Act were brought to the floor, it would pass immediately, with strong bipartisan support", Pelosi said Wednesday in a speech on the House floor.

House Speaker Paul Ryan's spokesperson said Ryan has "repeatedly stated" he supports an immigration reform bill including DACA.

She said Thursday that the speech, during which she read the stories of Dreamers from across the country, demonstrated that "we have our beliefs and we are willing to fight for them" and that the "intensity" has increased on the speaker to hold an immigration vote.

If passed, the bill would prevent a government shutdown that's scheduled for Thursday at midnight if Congress isn't able to pass a funding deal in time. "And then hopefully tomorrow she will validate that trust by stopping us from voting for it".

Yet numerous House Democrats said they weren't being pushed by Pelosi's leadership team to oppose the Senate deal without a DACA fix, and some of Pelosi's top lieutenants said no such effort was underway. The increase would be divided nearly equally - $165 billion for military spending and $131 billion for domestic program spending.

McConnell and Schumer announced an agreement Wednesday to avoid a second government shutdown, but Pelosi says the immigration issue stands in the way.

Her marathon speech was unusual for the House, which does not have the equivalent of the Senate filibuster. "What's wrong? There's something wrong with this picture", she said.

But other Democrats said their party in the House may simply not have the leverage to force a DACA solution on conservative Republicans controlling that chamber.

It's unclear if Democratic leadership will whip against the bill. Democrats have said they would support border security in exchange for Dreamer protections ― some of them even saying they would allow for Trump's wall ― but draw the line on measures that would hurt asylum-seekers, including children.

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