The ranking Democrat easily broke the record for the longest speech in the history of the House. The old record was the 5 hour and 15 minute speech given by then-Rep. Champ Clark (D-Mo.) back in 1909. Pelosi, 77, meant to pressure speaker Paul Ryan to allow debate on the House floor over immigration reform, and specifically the fate of the “Dreamers,” or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients.
Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell has already promised such a debate in the Senate. The Washington Post reports Ryan is open to the idea, as long as he feels the debate concerns proposals the president might support.
On the way to the House chamber this morning, Pelosi instructed aides to solicit stories about Dreamers from other House members, which were then printed and rushed to the House floor.
House rules allow the minority leader to speak as long as needed. But Pelosi had to speak continuously to hold the floor. No sitting, and no bathroom breaks. And in four-inch heels. “I have no intention of yielding back,” Pelosi said at 3:41 p.m. She began speaking at about 10 a.m. Eastern, and concluded shortly after 6 p.m.
Here is a four-hour portion of the speech:
And here is the moment Pelosi learns she’s broken the House record: