In a year chock full of historic moments, the House of Representatives closed out its final session of 2019 with the most significant thing it can do.
The House impeached President Donald Trump on Wednesday night – the apex of action it can take to check a president’s power. But it’s not the end of the road for the House’s impeachment effort.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has yet to transmit the articles of impeachment to the Senate for an ensuing trial that would determine whether Trump stays in office or is removed. It’s a wonky, procedural step, but that holdup is throwing off an already fraught impeachment process in the Senate.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said the chamber is at an “impasse” around the rules that would govern the trial. Those rules haven’t been set – but that didn’t stop the House or the Senate from leaving Washington for the rest of the year, throwing the entire process into a limbo that will last into 2020.
We still don’t know when the Senate trial will begin, though House Democrats are privately preparing for it to start as soon as the week of January 6.
The delay also exposes a parliamentary gray area: Some argue that Trump is not officially impeached until the House transmits the articles to the Senate.
At least there’s one end-of-December bright spot: The House, the Senate and the White House appear to have all pulled together to avoid another government shutdown.
The Point: Depending on where you stand, you may not remember 2019 fondly, but you’ll certainly remember it.
And that was the week in 13 headlines.