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House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) stole the show Wednesday, but it did nothing to help her Democratic colleagues.
After all, Pelosi stood for eight hours in the House chamber protesting a deal that she herself helped negotiate. The California Democrat vowed to stand and speak, though, until the GOP gave in to her demand to protect so-called “Dreamers,” illegal immigrants brought to the U.S. as children.
However, many on the left feel Pelosi's political stunt will only make it more difficult for centrist Democrats to vote for a budget deal, Politico reported.
“This stunt ... had nothing to do with protecting vulnerable members who have to take a difficult vote,” said one moderate Democrat who asked not to be named. “Working out this deal and then saying she's not going to vote for it? Come on. She was at the table.”
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With the 2018 midterms looming, Democrats have been wary about linking immigration talks to a budget deal over fears it could lead to yet another government shutdown, hurting their chances of taking back either chamber of Congress this fall:
A message from a House Democratic lawmaker who is ... less than thrilled with Pelosi’s marathon speech on Dreamers today. 🔥 pic.twitter.com/OoOudvgHJA
— Sahil Kapur (@sahilkapur) February 8, 2018
Rep. Luis Gutiérrez (D-Ill.), a staunch immigration activist, is retiring at the end of his current term, so he had no problem condemning Pelosi on the record.
“There's all kinds of ways, I assure you, that leadership exercises its influence — the least of which is a floor speech,” he told Politico.
Furthermore, according to a report from Business Insider, it appears Pelosi's effort was nothing more than a filibuster-esque performance:
Pelosi's marathon floor speech was not accompanied by a vigorous whipping campaign to unite Democrats against the bipartisan compromise that Senate leaders, the White House, and House Speaker Paul Ryan have coalesced around to keep the government open beyond the deadline at the end of Thursday.
“[Y]ou would think that there'd be hashtags galore supporting this effort — this unprecedented effort from Nancy Pelosi,” Gutiérrez said, according to Business Insider. “But it's not a coordinated effort, is it? So it makes me fearful that tomorrow the reason there isn't a coordinated effort is that nobody wants to show their hand.”
Congress has until March 5 to act on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy, which protects “Dreamers.”
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