Published: Sat, February 10, 2018
Business | By Max Garcia

Pelosi Protests Stall In Immigration Talks With Marathon House Speech

Pelosi Protests Stall In Immigration Talks With Marathon House Speech

A little after 10 a.m. on Wednesday, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., began a one-minute speech on the House floor. It now heads back to the House for another vote, where it will be met with strong pushback.

Pelosi's decision to take the floor followed a statement earlier in the day by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), announcing a two-year budget deal that increases military spending at the behest of President Trump, at a cost of $160 billion and provides approximately $128 billion in non-defense discretionary spending. "I just got word that the House historian confirms that you have now set the record for the longest continuous speech in the House since at least 1909", said Pelosi, reading aloud from a clerk's message. "Without a commitment from Speaker Ryan comparable to the commitment from Leader McConnell, this package does not have my support", Pelosi said. Senate Democrats joined them in January, blocking a funding measure and forcing a government shutdown.

The House is now trying to pass a budget deal to lift spending caps and avoid the second government shutdown of the year.

A source close to the California Democrat told CNN she thought of the idea overnight to speak for hours on the House floor.

McConnell said Tuesday that while he hopes "we will end up having something", he was unsure if any proposed measure would get the 60 votes needed for approval. Though a federal judge recently blocked the Trump Administration from ending the program, the future of this community of young immigrants remains uncertain.

She continued: "Our plea to the speaker is for us, for ourselves, to honor the values of our founders".

Meanwhile, House Democrats along with Pelosi pitched their own $1 trillion infrastructure plan dubbed, "A Better Deal to Rebuild America".

House Speaker Ryan is so far unwilling to offer open debate on any immigration legislation.

But left out of the deal would be a resolution for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy, which Trump is ending - and House Democrats have always been steadfast that they would not support government funding without it. "We can get this budget deal done and then we can focus on getting this immigration deal done".

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. As the minority leader, she can use as much floor time as she wants. GOP opposition to the plan was credited with helping to start the Tea Party movement.

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