Ryan calls Pelosi's eight-hour speech 'impressive'

House Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanPolitical figures pay tribute to Charles Krauthammer House approves five-year farm bill House postpones vote on compromise immigration bill MORE (R-Wis.) complimented House Minority Leader Nancy PelosiNancy Patricia D'Alesandro PelosiDems, health groups demand immigrant children be quickly reunited with families Hardline immigration bill fails in the House Pelosi: GOP immigration bill is 'a compromise with the devil' MORE's (D-Calif.) stamina on Thursday, one day after she spoke for more than eight hours on the floor, setting a House record.

"My hat's off to her. I don't know that I could have hacked that for eight hours, so it was pretty darn impressive," Ryan told reporters at a press briefing.

"I would have gone to the bathroom well before then, I gotta tell you," he joked.


The Speaker's comments came after Pelosi delivered a marathon speech on Wednesday calling on the chamber to take up legislation extending legal protections for young immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally as children, known as "Dreamers."

The record-setting speech clocked in at eight hours and seven minutes, and hinged on a plea to Ryan to consider legislation enshrining the protections of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program into law.

Pelosi also pledged to oppose a two-year spending deal announced by Senate leaders on Wednesday because it does not address protections for Dreamers. 

"This is not an issue that’s going to go away," Pelosi said in her speech. "This is an American value that is deeply felt across the board."

The fight over DACA protections was at the center of a three-day government shutdown last month spurred by Senate Democrats, who declined to back a short-term spending bill if it did not include an immigration fix.

After that shutdown ended, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellPolitical figures pay tribute to Charles Krauthammer Charles Krauthammer dies at the age of 68 Overnight Energy: EPA declines to write new rule for toxic spills | Senate blocks move to stop Obama water rule | EPA bought 'tactical' pants and polos MORE said that he would allow debate on DACA legislation if the issue was not addressed in another spending bill. Lawmakers face a midnight Thursday deadline for passing such a measure.

Ryan said Thursday that he was willing to address DACA's protections, but that Congress first had to address the issue of government funding in order to move on to immigration.

"We want a DACA solution," he said. "Guess what? In order to shift our focus and get on to the next big priority, which is a DACA solution, we gotta get this budget agreement done, so we can go and focus on this."