House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi delivered a record-long speech in opposition to a budget deal because it doesn’t address immigration reform, but the California Democrat doesn’t seem to realize her tactics will likely only help the GOP.
On Wednesday, Pelosi spoke on the House floor for over eight hours, beginning her marathon talk at 10 a.m. EST and ending at approximately 6:10 p.m. EST. The House Historian’s office declared it to be the longest floor speech on record, according to CNN.
The purpose of the speech was to highlight her opposition to a bipartisan budget deal brokered in the Senate. The House Democratic leader is demanding that Speaker Ryan include provisions that address the Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals program, otherwise known as DACA, in order to win her support.
“We have to be strong as a country … to respect the aspirations of people who are our future,” Pelosi said as she shared testimony from “Dreamers” 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.”
The stunt garnered massive media attention, fulfilling Pelosi’s goal of bringing more attention to the issue of DACA and the thousands of Dreamers enrolled in the program.
However, the congresswoman from San Francisco did not appear to consider these poll-proven facts: she is not the ideal spokesperson for her party, nor is this immigration tactic popular among Americans.
Republicans, having long used Pelosi as a boogeyman to win elections across the country, were elated to see her attract media attention. The National Republican Congressional Committee, the campaign arm of House Republicans, celebrated her speech on the House floor.
“Dear @NancyPelosi Every minute you’re in front of the cameras, you make our job easier,” wrote the NRCC in a tweet during her speech.
“The fact that Nancy Pelosi is the face and leader of the Democratic Party is the gift that keeps on giving for the NRCC,” spokesman Matt Gorman stated, according to the Washington Examiner.
“As her colleagues openly grumble that she’s a liability for 2018 and she continues to be the most unpopular politician in the country, I can only say one thing: go, Nancy, go,” he added.
Using Pelosi to defeat Democratic candidates is a tried-and-true method of the Republican Party playbook. For example, the NRCC successfully defeated Georgia Democrat Jon Ossoff in a special election last year by continually pinning him as a lapdog for the Minority Leader. Republicans are showing no signs of quitting on this strategy.
Speaking at a tax reform event in Ohio, President Donald Trump referred to Pelosi as the GOP’s “secret weapon” to win at the ballot box. He ripped the Democrat for being a rich and out of touch liberal from California, hurting herself badly when she called money Americans are saving from tax cuts as “crumbs.”
“And I think this is not a good day for Nancy Pelosi,” he said to the crowd of supporters. “She’s our secret weapon.”
To hear it from Pelosi, Republicans are seemingly against codifying DACA into law. However, President Trump and Speaker Paul Ryan have both continually expressed their desire to see a legislative fix to the program. In fact, the president’s plan protects a much greater number of people from deportation.
“Speaker Ryan has already repeatedly stated we intend to do a DACA and immigration reform bill — one that the President supports,” Ryan spokeswoman AshLee Strong said in a statement.
Additionally, Pelosi’s filibuster-like speech on the House floor is a move that puts her at odds with many congressional Democrats who will likely vote for the measure.
The bill itself is a result of a deal in the Senate between Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and Republican leaders. In fact, Pelosi was involved in the weeks-long compromise, but later turned her back and rejected the deal. In an admission that makes her record speech appear meaningless, Pelosi said she would not actively court House Democrats to vote against the budget bill, according to The Hill.
Speaker Ryan will need 216 votes to pass the budget bill through the lower chamber of Congress. While House rules do not technically allow any lawmaker to filibuster, Pelosi’s stunt could still muster enough votes to block the legislation and cause yet another government shutdown.
Senate Democrats earlier this year led a weekend-long shutdown of the federal government over the issue of DACA.
In what may have played a role in Schumer giving up on his shutdown battle was an internal Democratic poll that indicated Americans in swing states would blame their party if a shutdown tied to immigration occurred.
Pelosi may want to study the survey’s findings before initiating another shutdown over immigration.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.