THE BLOG
06/22/2014 09:50 pm ET Updated Aug 22, 2014

Harry Reid Should Call Kevin McCarthy's Bluff: A Vote for a Vote

Newly-minted House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) blamed Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) for the gridlock in Congress. Phantasmagorical as such a claim might be, in view of the Republican government shutdown and Republican Senate filibusters, Democrats' knee-jerk response is to argue the point.

They shouldn't. It is much more effective for action -- in this case, inaction -- to make the point for them.

Instead of arguing the point, Harry Reid should offer McCarthy a deal.

Here it is: the Senate will bring up for a vote, without amendment, a House-passed bill of McCarthy's choosing in exchange for the House doing the same for a Senate-passed bill of Reid's choosing. There is no requirement that the bill pass in the other chamber, just that the other chamber votes on it.

Simple. Fair. Straightforward. To make it work, Reid and McCarthy should hand each other a sealed envelope with one bill each week already passed by their respective chambers that they want voted upon by the other chamber. No sealed envelope, no bill.

It calls McCarthy's bluff.

Depending on the number of such bills that each side wants voted upon by the other chamber, this could produce a veritable river of yeas and a mountain of nays.

Or, McCarthy will show he was bluffing.

Regrettably, there is not even enough suspense about his decision to be able to sell popcorn.