The Democratic House leader took to the floor for "one minute" to demand protection for Dreamers, and just refused to stop talking.
Senate leaders are banging out the final details of a massive budget deal that will prevent another Trump shutdown. But for many Democrats in the House, the deal has a gaping flaw: Republicans refused to include protections for the young immigrants Trump has thrown into legal purgatory.
And one of the most vocal among them is House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, who, in her impassioned defense of the Dreamers, just made history.
On Wednesday afternoon, Pelosi took to the House floor to give a one minute speech demanding House Speaker Paul Ryan guarantee a vote on legal protection and a path to citizenship for the Dreamers.
But she did not stop at one minute. She kept going. And going. And going. I have no intention of yielding back, Mr. Speaker, she said.
When she finally came to an end, after standing for eight hours in stiletto heels with no break, Pelosi had officially given the longest continuous speech on the floor of the House in history. And she finished to thundering applause from House Democrats:
ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) February 7, 2018
A single House member talking uninterrupted for hours has been an incredibly rare event since filibusters were abolished in the chamber in 1842. Indeed, Pelosis speech was arguably a filibuster by any other name. She was only able to do it because of an obscure House rule called the magic minute that lets House leaders keep talking.
In October, Alaska Republican Don Young embarrassed himself during Pelosi’s speech on the GOP tax scam, when he shouted, “Time’s up!” Pelosi, certainly aware that such time limits did not apply to her, coolly responded, I know you dont want the public to hear this, and I can understand why.
Pelosi’s Wednesday speech, in which she read aloud letters from Dreamers begging for help, was a powerful argument for the young immigrants facing deportation in less than a month unless Congress takes immediate action to protect them.
We want to be sure that the public record of the Congress of the United States forever more will reflect the stories of their great contribution to America in the hopes that those stories will move the Speaker of the House to give us a vote, she said.
Pelosis inspirational feat also marked the one-year anniversary of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell silencing Sen. Elizabeth Warren from reading Coretta Scott Kings criticism of Jeff Sessions from the Senate floor, and explaining himself with the now-infamous line: She was warned. She was given an explanation. Nevertheless, she persisted.
Pelosi persisted for eight hours in heels as she spoke for the 800,000 Dreamers and their families whose fates depend on Republicans’ willingness to put country over party and do the right thing for these young Americans.