Under pressure on DACA, Nancy Pelosi launches a filibuster of sorts (Update: Pelosi sets a record)

Yes, I know the filibuster is a Senate procedure, but Pelosi has been on the House floor talking about the “Dreamers” for more than two hours already and she’s not stopping. Under House rules, leaders are allowed to speak as long as they want. Pelosi is using that freedom to demand Speaker Paul Ryan commit to a vote on DACA, otherwise, she and members of her party will refuse to support a two-year budget agreement to avoid another government shutdown which is rumored to be nearing completion today:

The Washington Post reports Pelosi is doing this in response to pressure from her base which wants the DACA fix now.

The move came amid rising fury from House liberals and immigration activists as congressional leaders appeared on the cusp of announcing a massive two-year budget deal without a fix for so-called dreamers…

“Without that commitment from Speaker Ryan, comparable to the commitment from Leader McConnell, this package does not have my support nor does it have the support of a large number of members of our caucus,” Pelosi said…

With the budget deal not expected to address the dreamers or any other immigration issue, Pelosi has to answer to angry members of her base, and try to placate them…

Pelosi made the announcement as she commandeered the House floor in an unusual maneuver, using rules that allow House leaders to speak on the floor as long as they want. She used the time to tell the stories of one dreamer after another.

Just to be clear about this, Pelosi is actually threatening to scuttle the budget deal if she doesn’t get what she wants. That would mean another government shutdown starting Thursday night at midnight over the same issue as the last government shutdown. Given how the Schumer shutdown worked out, she’s really threatening to blow up her own party unless Paul Ryan bails her out.

Politically, Ryan could just let this ride and watch the Democrats take another beating over this. President Trump is clearly eager for another round of “Democrats caved” headlines. He said yesterday, “If we have to shut it down because the Democrats don’t want safety . . . let’s shut it down.”

Trump has a point here. This is his big issue. He’s not going to cave on the wall. He can’t politically but also it’s something he really seems to believe in.

The reason we had the last shutdown was that Democrats demanded a DACA fix without money for the border wall. That didn’t work out for them. Now they are once again demanding a commitment to a vote on a DACA fix without being willing to commit to money for the wall. There’s an easy way to solve this, as was pointed out last month: Just give Trump the wall in exchange for a DACA fix. Get it done and stop forcing government shutdowns in an attempt to get something for nothing.

But here’s Nancy Pelosi, talking herself hoarse on the House floor and risking Shutdown 2: Electric Boogaloo. I think the real goal here is to show the base that Democrats fought a good fight before inevitably giving in on the budget agreement (minus the DACA fix), but I guess we’ll see.

Update: After 7 hours, Pelosi has set a record.

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