New budget barrier: Pelosi opposes pact if no 'Dreamer' help

Howard TerryFeb 09, 2018

Chances of a government shutdown dimmed this week following the Senate deal, but Pelosi's public demonstration indicates a fight could be coming in the House.

Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi took to the House floor Wednesday - and held it for a record-breaking length of time of over eight hours - to warn she would not support the burgeoning deal without a commitment from House Speaker Paul Ryan that the Republican-controlled House would hold a debate and vote on immigration legislation as his Senate counterpart Mitch McConnell has pledged, setting up a potential standoff.

On Capital Hill as the deal was being made protesters were making the same demands.

"The longer @NancyPelosi bloviates on the House Floor against the deal-the more I'm inclined to support it", tweeted Republican Congressman Mark Walker, who had expressed reservations toward the initial budget deal, while two other Republicans told Politico's Jake Sherman that they thought her speech would help them rally votes for their version of the bill. "There's all kinds of ways, I assure you, that leadership exercises its influence-the least of which is a floor speech", Rep. Luis Gutiérrez vented to Politico.

Tuesday night's 245-182 House vote, mostly along party lines, set the machinery in motion.

One of the letters Pelosi read was from Gladys Klamka from Phillipsburg, N.J. Klamka said her parents brought her to the United States from Mexico when she was two years old and that they would have put her up for adoption if they stayed in Mexico.

Prospects for dealing with immigration, however, were as fuzzy as ever.

Demonstrators gathered on Capitol Hill on February 7 to demand a budget deal that includes an alternative for DACA, an Obama-era program that protects roughly 690,000 undocumented immigrants.

No. 2 Senate Democratic leader Dick Durbin of IL, his party's chief immigration negotiator, bristled at the comment.

"I have had the privilege of reading the testimony from Dreamers, I still have more", the California Democrat added, "I thank all of you".

The result could be the return of trillion-dollar deficits for the first time since Obama's first term.

She applied for DACA status in 2012 and said she now works in health care.

Another likely addition is more than $80 billion in long-overdue hurricane relief for Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico, a top priority of lawmakers in both parties. "Insist that a solution be included in this must-pass spending bill".

It's clear that Senate Democrats have no appetite for another government shutdown.

She also said Thursday she's not whipping votes against the deal. Their unity splintered during last month's three-day closure.

Sen. Robert P. Casey (D-Pa.) said approving the compromise deal now will open the path for a wide-open debate next week in the Senate on the DACA program and other immigration proposals - what Democrats should consider a political victory.

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