“It’s just as we get to the end of a session, there have to be some decisions made,” she said during the news conference on trade, adding, “We didn’t know what day it would be.”
But the optics were hard to miss. Wearing an American flag pin with the words “One Country, One Destiny” on her lapel, Ms. Pelosi turned the trade news conference into a show of Democratic strength. She surrounded herself with more than two dozen of her members, including relieved-looking freshmen who represent districts won by Mr. Trump and have been pining for broadly popular accomplishments to show to voters ahead of their re-election races.
The impeachment articles, narrowly focused on Mr. Trump’s effort to enlist Ukraine to investigate his political rivals, also reflected Ms. Pelosi’s worries about protecting those moderates facing political risk. Democrats opted not to charge Mr. Trump with obstruction of justice based on his attempts to thwart Robert S. Mueller III’s investigation into Russian election interference in 2016.
Congressional Democrats “are getting more done in two weeks than the U.S. Senate has done in the last year,” said one vulnerable freshman, Representative Tom Malinoswki of New Jersey, adding, “The heart of the Democratic Party right now is the Democratic Congress and the House of Representatives.”
With time running out before the end of the legislative year, Democrats will be in a rush to get everything done. There is likely to be a vote on the defense bill in the House on Wednesday, with the final passage expected next week in the Senate so that the bill can be sent to Mr. Trump. Next week in the House, there will be back-to-back votes on the trade bill and impeachment.
That creates the specter of one, or perhaps two, presidential bill-signing ceremonies at the White House on legislation that Democrats will have delivered to Mr. Trump at the precise moment that they have impeached him. While it is unclear whether Mr. Trump will need to sign the trade pact, the president will certainly sign the defense bill into law — perhaps, if tradition holds, with Ms. Pelosi at his side.
Democrats are already highlighting that as a win — the first time that “paid family medical leave for millions of federal workers, including military workers, will be the law of the land,” Representative Hakeem Jeffries, the chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, said in an interview.