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

House Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanDems fight to protect Mueller amid Rosenstein rumors Jordan wants Rosenstein to testify before House Judiciary Committee Kamala Harris calls for Senate to protect Mueller probe as Rosenstein faces potential dismissal MORE (R-Wis.) complimented House Minority Leader Nancy PelosiNancy Patricia D'Alesandro PelosiDisclosures suggest rebates and insurers responsible for rising out-of-pocket drug costs Democrats keeping GOP from motivating voters with Trump impeachment threat, analyst says Celebrities, lawmakers wear black to support Kavanaugh’s accuser 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.

ADVERTISEMENT

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 McConnellFord's lawyer: Hearing doesn't appear to be designed for 'fair', 'respectful' treatment GOP opens door to holding Kavanaugh committee vote this week Press: Judge Kavanaugh must withdraw 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."