At the same time, Pelosi noted that the budget agreement “includes many Democratic priorities,” including disaster aid, opioid funding and parity for defense and nondefense spending.
As part of the deal to end the three-day government shutdown last month, McConnell said that he would bring up immigration legislation after Feb. 8. But Ryan would not make any similar promise that whatever passed in the Senate would be considered by the House.
The Trump administration is phasing out the DACA program, which allows qualifying young immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally as children to work and go to school. The roughly 700,000 DACA recipients are in limbo as lawmakers struggle to negotiate legislation that would allow them to stay in exchange for enhanced border security.
President Trump has proposed providing a path to citizenship for 1.8 million immigrants brought to the U.S. as children, often referred to as “Dreamers,” which would go beyond the DACA population. But Trump also wants to attach measures to restrict legal immigration, which Democrats oppose.
Pelosi is in a tough spot as she seeks to balance demands from liberal activists insisting Democrats hold the line on protecting Dreamers and still find a way for Congress to enact a budget deal in time to avoid another shutdown.
Pelosi on Wednesday called on Ryan to allow a vote on immigration legislation.
“Let the House work its will,” Pelosi said. “Why should the House of Representatives be constrained?”
Ryan’s office pointed to past remarks by the Speaker saying that the House intends to take up an immigration bill.
“Speaker Ryan has already repeatedly stated we intend to do a DACA and immigration reform bill – one that the president supports,” Ryan spokeswoman AshLee Strong said.
Current government funding expires after Thursday.
The House passed a short-term spending patch — the fifth since September — on Tuesday that would last through March 23 but enact full-year funding for the Defense Department.
The House-passed bill is expected to fail in the Senate, given Democrats’ demands for parity between defense and non-defense spending. Senators are likely to strip out the full-year defense funding, potentially attach the budget deal, and send it back to the House for approval.
Updated: 3:12 p.m.