The cure for gridlock

A couple of decades ago, I managed a small gift shop.  The owner was a fabulous teacher who wanted only to make me more valuable to her and teach me to make wise decisions.  One day, I had a problem I couldn't solve on my own, so I met with her to find out what she would like to do.  She took the time to mentor me and teach me that if you come to her with a problem, come to her with two solutions.  She explained that when I worked on two solutions to the problem, I didn't feel as though one was better or more important than the other.  That meant it would be easy to work together to come up with a real solution.  I have never forgotten this bit of genius.

Congress, too, would benefit from my old boss's brilliance.  So here is my cure for their gridlock.

The members of Congress all say they want to work together, but their inability to come up with a solution to the health insurance problem for all of the uninsured people in America without harming those who already have health insurance seems ineradicable.  They also don't tell the truth about anything they are doing behind the scenes.  They keep calling it "health care" when it is insurance, not health care.  Everyone in America has health care, and it is better than the health care in countries where they pay high taxes and then wait for months to get to the physician.  This type of health care screams of death!

What would happen if each of the 100 senators were forced to come with two solutions to the health insurance bill?  What could you see happening?  I don't mean that they can form a group of six and the six bring two solutions.  What if they each had to come with two solutions – well thought out solutions – of what should be covered and how it should be administered?  I am not talking about 700 pages of lawyer-type written laws, but the important things they want to see in the bill.

What if the senators were placed in a room with tables and chairs, and they all had two hours to write down what they want and why?  Oh, wait – they have a room that is called "the chamber," and it has 100 individual seats just for them.  I suggest locking the door so aides can't get to them for the two hours, either – each needs to work on his own.  After the two hours, each one could read out loud, for the record, what he put on his handwritten paper.

This could really be enlightening for constituents.  It would be the senators' own work, not the work of a staffer or publicity people.  Then a bill could be written using their handwritten papers.  I am willing to bet it would be a really quick and easy deal to make and truly show bipartisanship.  Perhaps this could be done for the tax cuts as well.

Do you think this would work in the House of Representatives too?  They all have desks.  It would force bipartisanship, wouldn't it? 

Once this is accomplished, how about we let them all go home for two weeks and talk to the people in their areas and see if what they chose as important to them is important enough that the people they represent are willing to pay for it? 

Do I expect this to happen?  No, but it should happen, and it could release the gridlock we now call Congress.  Keep in mind that it isn't President Trump holding up and creating the gridlock, is it?  It is Congress – both Democrats and Republicans.  When 2018 rolls around, we, the American people, will remember each and every one who has contributed to the gridlock (or shall we call it greedlock or swamplock?).

Let's make them give it a try.