With the impeachment hearings culminating in explosive testimony from Ambassador Gordon Sondland on Wednesday, the woman charged with bringing articles of impeachment against the president wasn't watching.
At the same time that Sondland was testifying that "everyone was in the loop" about the Ukraine quid pro quo, a floor below, in the same building, Speaker Nancy Pelosi stood in front of the few members of the DC press corps who weren't covering impeachment and held a sign with the words: "IGNORED BY THE SENATE FOR MORE THAN 265 DAYS," alongside a group of other Democratic lawmakers.
The sign was a reference to the amount of time that has elapsed since the House passed H.R.8, better known as the Bipartisan Background Check Act. The speaker and the group of sitting lawmakers who joined her explained that they would walk the sign over to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's office on Capitol Hill.
"Mr. Leader, your political survival is not as important as our children," Pelosi told the assembled group of reporters.
Although Sen. McConnell has not displayed much interest in bringing H.R.8 to the Senate floor, President Trump has -- or at least, he once did.
On August 5, Trump tweeted, "Republicans and Democrats must come together and get strong background checks."
When Cheddar asked Pelosi the last time she heard Trump express interest in background checks, she said the president called her on the morning of September 24. That happens to be the very day Pelosi announced the House-led impeachment inquiry.
"He called me to tell me of all the great progress that was being done in a bipartisan way to pass gun violence protection," Pelosi told Cheddar. "He knows what a priority it is for me, he knew that would get my attention early that Tuesday morning."
Pelosi also pointed to growing support among Americans for universal background checks to buy a gun. According to a September poll from the The Washington Post and ABC News, 89 percent of Americans support them.
"I did say, what are you, Mr. 10 percent?" Pelosi added, asking whether he would stand with the minority who are opposed to expanding checks. "Ten percent are going to drive what saves lives for the American people?"
She said the president has shown no sense of urgency on the issue since.
While progressive gun control policies like these remain at the top of the list for Democrats running for president in 2020, Pelosi suggested party lawmakers should focus on background checks, rather than the more controversial policy of mandatory buybacks of assault weapons — a topic that emerged on the debate stage and was strongly endorsed by former Rep. Beto O'Rourke before he dropped out of the race.
"We think that this is where the consensus is, this is where we believe most lives will be saved," Pelosi told Cheddar. "Most lives will be saved by background checks."
"Once we get this passed, we can discuss whatever else we want to do," she added.