That's a betting strategy in a game of Texas Hold-'em. It happens when you are the decision making bettor, and you pass the decision on to the next betting opponent.
The opponent can then initiate a bet of their own or pass the decision to their next opponent by "checking" as well.
A lot of people like to compare politics with war metaphors. I prefer cards metaphors as more appropriate. Especially when it comes to complex negotiations like this.
The last Democratic Congress "checked" the issue of fiscal reform to the President. Obama "checked" the decision on fiscal reform to the GOP. The GOP "checked" to Paul Ryan, one of the only Republicans with sand, who has now opened the betting.
I disagree with Sullivan that this is a powerful rebranding of the GOP. They've deomonstrated there isn't a single issue they can't "death panel" into the news cycle. I expect the Democrats will try to do the same to this plan, so that takes care of all the usual suspects who will be yelling at each other without the ability to change minds and policy.
The interaction to watch will be between Ryan - who the GOP has either anointed or set up to take the blame (depending on which way this goes) - and the President.
Which means there is a chance for some sane policy to come out of all this. Not a good chance, but a chance.