The ball is now firmly in the GOP’s court. President Joe Biden has gone out of his way to repeatedly extend the invitation. Democratic House and Senate leaders have expressed an interest and a willingness to follow his lead. It’s now time for Republicans to move beyond a platitude here and a platitude there, and instead to actually take action.

Deeds, not words, will be how I judge them. And the times demand swift action. I will interpret dithering, delay or obstruction as a clear signal that they are not serious.

And, if it turns out that they are not serious, then no time should be wasted changing the Senate rules Republicans have long used to dither, delay and obstruct.

It is time to return to the business of legislation and turn away from the business of obstruction.

Patrick J. Russell, Seattle