Donald Trump isn’t the only troll in town.
The billionaire’s expressions of worry about the citizenship status of his chief rival, Canadian-born Sen. Ted Cruz, have been a master class in concern trolling, but on Thursday Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) showed that he knows how to play the game, too.
According to a statement released to the press, Reid extended an offer to his Republican counterparts: In a Senate where even broad agreement on an issue often isn’t enough to bring it to the floor for a vote without an epic fight, he is offering Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and the Republican majority a freebie. Any time they want to bring GOP presidential frontrunner Donald Trump’s policies to the floor of the Senate for a vote, he won’t stand in the way.
In fact, he said, if McConnell doesn’t bring Trump’s immigration proposals up for a vote, the Democrats will try to do it for him.
“Since Republican leaders in the House and Senate have pledged loyalty to Trump, the obvious next step is to vote on his policies, including his unconstitutional plan to bar people from entering the United States based on their religion,” Reid said in a statement.
“These votes will give all Senators a chance to take a stand on the policy issues dominating the public debate – and Republicans a chance to stand with the front-runner for their nomination,” he said.
And, in a dig at McConnell, he added, “Scheduling the votes can be done easily and efficiently under an open amendment process, with no interference to the light workload Senate Republican leaders have announced for 2016.”
Should Senate leaders decide they aren’t interested, Reid promised, “Democrats will hold Republicans accountable by seeking floor votes on Trump’s policies ourselves.”
McConnell, who made an appearance before the media at the congressional Republicans’ policy retreat in Maryland Thursday morning, didn’t express much willingness to vote on Trump’s policies, but did promise retaliation if Democrats try to force his members to take uncomfortable votes.
“Generally speaking I’ve tried to avoid turning the Senate into a studio for the presidential campaign but it’s worth noting that what’s good for the goose is good for the gander,” the Kentuckian said. “And so you could expect amendments that they might not like’ related to the Sanders or Clinton campaigns. But as a general rule what I’ve tried to ask the Senate to do is let the presidential candidates run their race and let’s try to do the peoples’ business.”