Nancy Pelosi has broken the record for the longest continuous speech in Congress in an effort to force a vote on protection for DACA recipients on Wednesday.
The Democrat speaker of the House of Representatives used much of the speech – which lasted more than eight hours – to read personal letters from the young immigrants whose temporary protection from deportation is set to expire next month.
The DACA programme has been under threat since September when the Trump administration declared its intention to scrap the protections for 800,000 childhood immigrants. In January, a court blocked the attempt, saying it must stay in place until legal challenges to it have been heard.
The 77-year-old’s supporters took to Twitter, using the hashtag #GoNancyGo to support her efforts.
Rep. Nancy Pelosi's colleagues are giving her a standing ovation, and I am crying. #GoNancyGo— Melissa McEwan (@Shakestweetz) February 7, 2018
Nevertheless, she persisted. #GoNancyGo— Eugene Gu, MD (@eugenegu) February 8, 2018
NANCY TODAY: Held the House floor for a record-breaking 8 hours to protect the DREAMERS and show how great America can be when we lead with COMPASSION.
GO NANCY GO! #GoNancyGo— Ryan Knight 🇺🇸 (@ProudResister) February 8, 2018
Republican supporters were not as enamoured with Pelosi’s actions.
YES! #GoNancyGo back home and stay there.— Kambree Kawahine Koa (@KamVTV) February 8, 2018
Celebrated for standing for 8 hours? You know what a normal person calls that? A shift. Now do it tomorrow. That’s called a job. #GoNancyGo— David (@d_123_berry) February 8, 2018
“You see, these people are being deported,” Ms Pelosi said, at around the sixth hour of her speech. “We can do something today to at least make whole the children.”
Pelosi began her remarks at about 10am and yielded the floor at 6.11pm, delivering the longest continuous speech on record in the history of Congress. She bested Republican Champ Clark’s five-hour, 15-minute stem-winder about tariff reform in 1909.
Just seeing all of these #GoNancyGo messages. Truly very moving. But let's not lose focus of who really matters here. Thank you to our #Dreamers. And thank you to your parents for allowing us all the pleasure of having you be a part of our American family every day. #DREAMActNow— Nancy Pelosi (@NancyPelosi) February 7, 2018