House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi gives 8-hour speech on 'Dreamer' immigrants
19:59, Feb 8, 2018
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There are almost 800,000 Dreamers in the U.S. Pelosi's speech was meant to force House Speaker Paul Ryan to agree to a vote on immigration legislation.
As Jason Easley noted shortly after the Democratic leader concluded her remarks, "Pelosi spent more time today arguing for Dreamers on the House floor than Donald Trump spends during an entire day on his duties as president". Both Pelosi and Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) are permitted to speak for longer periods of time than usually allotted for members of the House due to their respective roles as party leaders.
"We've laid out what we would like to see in immigration legislation, and I think it's something that Nancy Pelosi should support", Sanders said in the briefing.
Pelosi utilized the magic-minute rule of the House, which permits the majority leader, the minority leader and the House speaker to speak as long as they wish.
Hour after hour as she spoke, Pelosi read statements from people in the country illegally who were brought here as children.
Ryan said Tuesday he would not bring an immigration bill to the House floor that lacks support from a majority of Republicans and the White House.
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Wednesday night, Pelosi was asked when she walked off the floor if she was working to get Democrats to stick together and vote against the bill, and she referred to Wednesday's caucus meeting and said "members will do what they'll do". Pelosi is refusing to sign any bill that doesn't include a path to citizenship for this population.
"We have to be strong as a country ... to respect the aspirations of people who are our future", Pelosi said on the House floor.
'Let Congress work its will, ' said Pelosi, 'What are you afraid of?'
According to our Washington Post team who was watching Pelosi, she barely took time to unwrap a mint several hours in and was not interrupted once.
Ms Pelosi was advocating on behalf of undocumented immigrants who came to the United States as children, known as "Dreamers".
The budget agreement would give both the Pentagon and domestic agencies relief from a budget freeze that lawmakers say threatens military readiness and training as well as domestic priorities such as combating opioid abuse and repairing the troubled health care system for veterans. Congress passed a temporary spending bill to reopen the government on January 22, but funding is set to run out on February 8. Pelosi and House Democrats are demanding that the House be allowed to consider Democratic-backed immigration bills, as McConnell has promised the Senate will. (At the very least, Merrick Garland could get a giggle out of this.) She seems to have the support of her caucus; according to reports, she told Democrats in attendance that they could go listen to a presentation by former Vice President Joe Biden and they told her they'd rather listen to her. In an upcoming Western Pennsylvania special election, conservative groups are running ads tying Democrat Conor Lamb to Pelosi, despite Lamb's having told reporters he wouldn't vote for her as Democratic leader.
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