Nancy Pelosi Sets House Record with Her Marathon Eight-Hour Speech Advocating for Dreamers
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi took the House floor today at 10:04 a.m. ET today and didn't stop speaking for eight hours and seven minutes, setting a record for the longest continuous speech in the history of the chamber.
Her goal? To protect undocumented immigrants known as Dreamers. The House is currently trying to pass a budget deal to lift spending caps and avoid the second government shutdown of the year. Currently, the bill does not include a permanent solution to protect Dreamers, and Pelosi and her Democratic colleagues are refusing to support it as it stands. In order for the budget deal to pass, it requires support from minority party.
Throughout the eight hours she called on her fellow lawmakers to pass the Dream Act, which will grant legal status to dreamers, and read success stories of DACA recipients.
"We have to be strong as a country ... to respect the aspirations of people who are our future," Pelosi said on the House floor. "The young people are our future and these dreamers are part of that. They've been enriched ... by the greatness of our country."
"Our plea to the speaker is for us, for ourselves, to honor the values of our founders," she continued.
Her marathon speech was unusual for the House, which does not have the equivalent of the Senate filibuster. Instead, she took advantage of the magic-minute rule that allows the majority leaders of each party and the speaker to talk as long as they'd like.
According to the House Historian, she broke the 1909 record for the longest continuous speech. Though unusual, it seemed to have worked in delaying the budget bill, which will fund the government for the next two years. A short-term budget agreement expires on Thursday.