Nancy Pelosi speaks for six hours (and counting) in support of DACA

The House minority leader isn’t giving up on DREAMers

By Nicole Karlis

Published February 7, 2018 4:56PM (EST)

Nancy Pelosi (AP/Steven Senne)
Nancy Pelosi (AP/Steven Senne)

The Senate reached a bipartisan proposed budget deal today, but House minority leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., readied the opposition by demanding Congress address immigration legislation before the Senate deal was announced. Indeed, in the late morning on Wednesday, Pelosi took the stage to give a marathon speech to support DREAM Act immigrants and put pressure on the Republican party to address immigration issues.

The hope is to pressure House Speaker Paul Ryan, R.-Wisc., to hold a vote on the immigration legislation that kept the budget from being passed in January.

“Why should we in the House be treated in such a humiliating way when the Republican Senate leader has given that opportunity in a bipartisan way to his membership? What’s wrong? There’s something wrong with this picture,” Pelosi said, according to the Washington Post.

In her speech, which has been streaming live on Pelosi’s Twitter and on various news channels, Pelosi has shared numerous back-to-back stories from DREAMers, for six hours, outlining their accomplishments, fears and what’s at stake for them and their immigration status in this politically uncertain climate.

“These young people have accomplished things that I think many of us would not have been able to accomplish” Pelosi said at the podium. “Their parents were courageous and they had a dream for their children.”

While her speech isn’t technically a filibuster speech, it surely resembles one. It’s unclear how long Pelosi will continue to speak, but reporters and aides on the floor are reporting that she still has plenty of papers on her podium to share.

Pelosi has also mentioned that ending DACA could worsen a physician shortage in America, and read a statement from the American Medical Association (AMA).

“President Trump’s recent announcement to end the DACA program in six months fails to recognize the enormous contributions of hundreds of thousands of individuals who are living, working, and providing vital services in the United States, including health care services,” AMA CEO and Executive Vice President James L. Madara, M.D, said in a statement in September.

It’s unclear how long she’ll continue speaking for, but Pelosi has reportedly received word that the House will vote and recess once she’s finished.


Nicole Karlis

Nicole Karlis is a senior writer at Salon. Tweet her @nicolekarlis.

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Daca Fauxlibuster Filibuster House Of Representatives Nancy Pelosi Paul Ryan