Sharing DREAMers Stories Nancy Pelosi Delivers Longest House Speech In History

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi began speaking on the House floor at 10:04 a.m. Wednesday.

Pelosi read story after story about individual DREAMers aspiring to become U.S. citizens in protest of Congress's lack of action on immigration. No speech since 1909 has come close to it in length.

And she didn't stop until after 6 p.m.

The California Democrat followed her surprise announcement that she would oppose a budget deal to avert a government shutdown with a talk-a-thon to protest congressional inaction on legislation to protect DREAMers, undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States when they children.

While Pelosi has held the floor for hours, it wasn't a filibuster. That move is used in the Senate to delay or block legislation, and there isn't a House equivalent. 

She used her unlimited, "magic" minute, available in the House to only to party leaders, to speak for more thaneight hours, reading story after emotional story about DREAMers who aspire to become U.S. citizens. She also included remarks about the Declaration of Independence, the country's founders. At one point, she suggested lawmakers should "just pray all day."

"Maybe I should bring my rosary, blessed by the Pope," said Pelosi, who is Catholic.

While Pelosi applauded parts of the budget deal, she said it did nothing to advance bipartisan legislation to protect DREAMers. Their status has been in jeopardy since the Trump administration announced in September it would end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, the Obama-era initiative that has protected nearly 800,000 of them from deportation. Trump gave Congress until March to come up with a legislative fix.

She called on House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., to guarantee a vote on DREAMer legislation, as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., did in the Senate.

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