US Democrat Nancy Pelosi speaks about young undocumented migrants for over 8 hours in Congress, breaks century-old record

Washington: Top US House Democrat Nancy Pelosi made history on 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 in March, took the floor at 10.04 am 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 day at her desk in four-inch heels and consuming nothing but water, according to an aide. It was a remarkable display of determination by the minority leader and former speaker of the House.

File image of Nancy Pelosi. AP

File image of Nancy Pelosi. AP

"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, reading aloud a message from a clerk. "I wonder what that was," she said

That honour 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 that does not address the sensitive issue of immigration. Pelosi said she would oppose the deal unless House Speaker Paul Ryan gave assurances that 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 any rules with her record-busting speech. Party leaders are allowed to use their typical one-minute addresses to the House to speak as long as they wish.

Updated Date: Feb 08, 2018 07:04 AM

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