House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi staged a record-breaking, eight-hour speech in hopes of pressuring Republicans to allow a vote on protecting "Dreamer" immigrants - and to demonstrate to increasingly angry progressives and Democratic activists that she has done all she could.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., announced an agreement Wednesday afternoon on a two-year budget deal to avoid another government shutdown, though a floor vote has not been held.
Noting that the budget legislation would increase defense and non-defense spending, which she supports, Pelosi said: "We can not allow our success in one part of the discussion to diminish our leverage in another".
Pelosi, a California Democrat who served as House speaker from 2007 to 2011, took the House floor shortly after 10 a.m. Wednesday and wrapped up her speech after 6 p.m.
"Without a commitment from Speaker Ryan comparable to the commitment from Leader McConnell, this package does not have my support", Pelosi added later in a statement.
But left out of the deal would be a resolution for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy, which Trump is ending - and House Democrats have always been steadfast that they would not support government funding without it.
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"I still have a real problem dramatically increasing the caps, adding to the deficit, when we just added $2 trillion for the tax plan".
The activists who filled a Washington church Wednesday, like liberal leaders nationwide, called out Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer for failing to attach immigration legislation to a must-pass bill like the budget deal. In an upcoming Western Pennsylvania special election, conservative groups are running ads tying Democrat Conor Lamb to Pelosi, despite Lamb's having told reporters he wouldn't vote for her as Democratic leader. But the measure appears increasingly likely to be rewritten by the Senate to include legislation implementing the brewing broader budget pact.
"Unlike in the Senate, there is no agreement that the House will even consider legislation to protect DREAMers", Hoyer wrote in response to a member's question of how to vote on the budget plan.
But the high-profile move came as Republicans are once again making Pelosi a centerpiece of their House campaigns.
"Our side is not formally whipping on this", the New York Democrat said on CNN. Pelosi said. "Give us a vote".
It's unclear if Democratic leadership will whip against the bill. Senate Democrats joined them in January, blocking a funding measure and forcing a government shutdown. "Insist that a solution be included in this must-pass spending bill".