A little after 10 o'clock Wednesday morning, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi began a one-minute speech on the House floor.
More than six hours later, she's still going.
Pelosi's marathon Senate filibuster-style speech is a protest against the fact that negotiations over the future of the expiring Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program have stalled out.
"Our Dreamers hang in limbo, with a cruel cloud of fear and uncertainty above them. The Republican moral cowardness must end," Pelosi said toward the beginning of the speech. "So I'm going to go on as long as my leadership minute allows." (Leaders like Pelosi are granted the courtesy of speaking beyond – in this case well beyond – the usual minute allotted to House members for floor remarks.)
For hour after hour, Pelosi has read statements from people in the country illegally who were brought here as children. The statements have run a wide range, though many of them speak to the security and opportunities DACA provided, or to the careers or educational paths of people soon at risk for deportation.
While Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has promised Senate debate on immigration, House Speaker Paul Ryan has made no such commitment. On Tuesday, the Speaker said "We're not going to bring immigration legislation through that the president doesn't support."
Pelosi's marathon speech comes on a day when her Senate counterpart, Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, struck a broad budget deal with McConnell. The agreement covers a broad range, including increasing military and domestic spending, raising the debt ceiling, and providing expanded disaster relief funding. But it did not include any DACA extension.
McConnell, Ryan, and President Trump have all said they want to find a permanent fix for the roughly 700,000 people in DACA. Pelosi sounds increasingly skeptical that Republicans will act.
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