By Daniella Diaz and Deirdre Walsh
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi spent more than eight hours on the House floor Wednesday protesting the spending bill for not including an immigration package — but then called the bill “good” during a news conference Thursday.
“This agreement, which I fought very hard for many of the things that are in there and I think that it’s a good bill,” the California Democrat said on Capitol Hill. “It’s unfortunate that it’s taking place in an assaulting way to those of us who are trying to protect the values of our country.”
When asked by a reporter if she would vote for the bill, she said no.
“I’m pleased with the product,” she said. “I’m not pleased with the process.”
Pelosi said she wants House Speaker Paul Ryan to guarantee a vote on an immigration package on the House floor, similar to what Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he would do for the Senate.
Pelosi said Wednesday on the House floor that she opposes the spending deal because it doesn’t include a permanent solution for undocumented immigrants affected by the expiring Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.
“Many of our priorities are in the bill,” she said Thursday. “I have an unease with it, and I hope that the Speaker will man up and decide that we in the House can also have what Mitch McConnell guaranteed in the Senate, a vote — a vote on the floor.”
If passed, the bill would prevent a government shutdown that’s scheduled for Thursday at midnight if Congress isn’t able to pass a funding deal in time.
California Democratic Rep. Ro Khanna told CNN that his leadership is not whipping against the budget deal.
Khanna said he’s voting no because it doesn’t address Dreamers and he opposes the major defense increase. But he said no one reached out to him to gauge his position, and the message he’s hearing is “people should vote their conscience.”
Wednesday night, Pelosi was asked when she walked off the floor if she was working to get Democrats to stick together and vote against the bill, and she referred to Wednesday’s caucus meeting and said “members will do what they’ll do.”
She also said Thursday she’s not whipping votes against the deal.
“I am just telling people why I am voting the way I am voting,” she said.
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