Saturday, November 17, 2018 | ePaper

Pelosi gives longest US House speech in more than a century

  • Print


AFP, Washington :
Top US House Democrat Nancy Pelosi made history Wednesday by delivering the longest address to the chamber in at least 108 years, speaking for more than eight hours about protecting young undocumented migrants from deportation.
The veteran California Democrat, who turns 78 next month, took the floor at 10:04 am (1504 GMT) and began to speak. And she kept speaking. And speaking. And speaking.
Eight hours and seven minutes later, at 6:11 pm, she relinquished the floor-an entire work day standing at her desk in four-inch (10-centimeter) heels and consuming nothing but water, according to an aide.
It was a remarkable display of determination by the minority leader and former House speaker, which ended with her high-fiving Democratic colleagues who gave her a standing ovation.
"I just got word that the House historian confirms that you have now set the record for the longest continuous speech in the House since at least 1909," said Pelosi during her marathon, reading aloud from a clerk's message.
"I wonder what that was."
That honor belonged to congressman Champ Clark of Missouri, who spoke for five hours and 15 minutes. It was unclear if any House floor speeches before 1909 had gone longer.
Pelosi was speaking against a compromise federal budget deal recently announced by Senate leaders that would lift spending caps and avert a looming government shutdown-but does not address immigration.
Pelosi said she would oppose the deal unless House Speaker Paul Ryan gave assurances he would bring immigration legislation to the floor for a vote.
Americans "need a solution to immigration, which is long overdue," she said.
Pelosi was not violating House rules with her record-busting speech. Party leaders technically take the floor for one minute, but are allowed to speak for as long as they wish.
At times she turned to scripture, and cited the biblical tale of the Good Samaritan.
She also read directly from statements by dozens of immigrants known as "Dreamers"-people who arrived in the United States illegally as children but were protected from deportation under president Barack Obama's Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.
In September President Donald Trump ended DACA, but gave Congress several months to craft a solution.
If Congress does not act by the March 5 deadline, some 1,000 immigrants per day could face deportation.
"Our Dreamers hang in limbo, with a cruel cloud of fear and uncertainty above them," Pelosi said.
"The Republican moral cowardice must end."
While the Republican side of the chamber was largely empty, dozens of Democrats trickled in to hear Pelosi, or sit behind their leader offering support.
"I'm proud to be here in solidarity with @NancyPelosi demanding action to #protectDreamers," congresswoman Betty McCollum tweeted, using the hashtag #GoNancyGo.

More News For this Category

Australia, Japan to deepen defence ties after historic Darwin visit

Australia, Japan to deepen defence ties after historic Darwin visit

AFP, Australia : Australia hailed a "deeply symbolic" visit to Darwin by the Japanese Prime Minister on Friday, more than 75 years after the northern city was bombed in World

May fights for survival after Brexit deal sparks crisis

May fights for survival after Brexit deal sparks crisis

Reuters, London : British Prime Minister Theresa May was fighting for survival on Friday after a draft divorce deal with the European Union provoked the resignations of senior ministers and

UN-backed court rules Khmer Rouge leaders committed genocide

Reuters, Phnom Penh :A U.N.-backed court found two leaders of Cambodia's Khmer Rouge guilty of genocide on Friday, almost four decades after the ultra-Maoist regime which oversaw the "Killing

After brawl, pandemonium halts Sri Lanka’s Parliament

After brawl, pandemonium halts Sri Lanka’s Parliament

AP, Colombo :Pandemonium reigned in Sri Lanka's Parliament as lawmakers supporting disputed Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa violently demonstrated in the house to prevent the proceedings from taking place on

News In Brief

Trump to visit California wildfire victimsAP, Washington President Donald Trump will fly Saturday to California to meet victims of wildfires that have killed at least 59 people and destroyed

Trump's summit no-show draws Asian nations closer together

Trump's summit no-show draws Asian nations closer together

Reuters, Singapore : US President Donald Trump didn't make it to this week's summit of Asian nations in Singapore, but his influence was still keenly felt among the leaders who

US could lose war against Russia or China, warns panel

US could lose war against Russia or China, warns panel

AP, Washington :The United States military has "lost its edge" and could potentially lose a war against Russia or China, a report by a bipartisan panel established by Congress

Yemeni govt backs UN peace talks but Hodeida still at risk

Yemeni govt backs UN peace talks but Hodeida still at risk

AFP, Hodeida (Yemen) :Yemen's president has supported a UN push for fresh talks to end almost four years of fighting in his war-torn country, but analysts warn even a

Israel Defence Minister resigns over Gaza ceasefire

Israel Defence Minister resigns over Gaza ceasefire

BBC Online :Israel's defence minister has resigned over the cabinet's decision to accept a ceasefire ending two days of fighting with Palestinian militants in Gaza.Avigdor Lieberman denounced the move

News In Brief

S Korea dismantles guard posts with dynamite, excavatorsAP, South KoreaSouth Korea exploded a front-line guard post Thursday, sending plumes of thick, black smoke into the sky above the border