House Minority Leader, Nancy Pelosi, commandeered the House Floor for eight hours straight in an attempt to persuade Republicans into voting on immigration laws involving Dreamers.
The 77-year-old’s lengthy monologue was confirmed to be the longest continuous speech in the chamber, dating to at least 1909.
Nancy Pelosi started her speech shortly after 10 a.m. ET, and finished shortly after 6:10 p.m. ET.
According to a source with knowledge on the matter, the California Democrat thought of holding the House floor a night before the event. More, so the source claims that Pelosi was wearing four-inch-heels during the record monologue and only drank water.
The speech came as a response to the Republican’s latest decision to pass legislation to keep the government open. She fought against this decision due to the GOP’s reluctance to pass legislation that would protect young immigrants known as Dreamers from deportation. These people were brought into the United States illegally as children and have been shielded from deportation by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA), an initiative started by President Obama and suspended by President Trump.
“The young people are our future and these dreamers are part of that. They’ve been enriched… by the greatness of our country,” said Ms. Pelosi during her eight-hour discourse.
House Democrats will most likely spend the next 24 hours trying to get House Speaker, Paul Ryan, to consider a definitive solution to the DACA program.
Ms. Pelosi was able to keep the House floor for such a long time thanks to a loophole that permits the majority leader, the minority leader and the House speaker to talk as long as they like. The last person to commandeer the House floor in a similar manner was Representative Champ Clark of Missouri, who spoke for 5 hours and 15 minutes in 1909 to protest a tariff overhaul, according to a House historian.
The minority leader read numerous testimonies from Dreamers who have written their representatives about their experiences in the US as well as several Bible passages.
It remains to be seen if Pelosi’s pleas will stir Paul Ryan. A spokeswoman for the House Speaker claims that he intends to pass a DACA and immigration reform bill, one which the president supports.
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