House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., has been holding the floor of the House of Representatives for more than five hours and counting Wednesday, in a marathon speech protesting a budget deal reached by Senate leaders.
In her remarks, Pelosi announced that she and many fellow House Democrats would oppose the package unless House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., promised to allow a vote on a plan to shield from deportation hundreds of thousands of immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally.
“Let Congress work its will,” said Pelosi, who noted that Senate Republicans have slated a debate on the politically freighted subject starting next week. “What are you afraid of?”
President Trump moved to end former President Barack Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program last year, giving Congress a March 5 deadline to pass legislation to replace it. However, a federal judge has indefinitely blocked Trump from terminating the program’s protections, blunting the deadline’s immediate impact.
Even as Pelosi announced that the agreement “does not have my support, nor does it have the support of a large number of members of our caucus,” Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer called the agreement the “best thing” lawmakers could have done for the middle class.
“The budget deal doesn’t have everything Democrats want, it doesn’t have everything the Republicans want, but it has a great deal of what the American people want,” Schumer said on the Senate floor, later adding, “And now we must finish the job. Later this week, let’s pass this budget into law alongside an extension of government funding. I hope the House will follow suit and President Trump will sign it.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.