Opinion: Legislation should only need 51 votes to pass in the Senate
EDITOR'S NOTE: Boris Epshteyn formerly served as a Senior Advisor to the Trump Campaign and served in the White House as Special Assistant to The President and Assistant Communications Director for Surrogate Operations.
WASHINGTON (Sinclair Broadcast Group) - The U.S. Constitution.
It is the lynchpin of our democracy. It lays out how a bill becomes a law. Right now, the Senate chooses to make that process harder.
The Constitution requires a simple majority - 51 votes – to pass most bills.
Instead, Senate rules require 60 votes to end debate on a bill and bring it to a vote.
This rule is nowhere in the Constitution.
There are just five main fronts that require more than 51 votes. They are: ratifying a treaty, overriding a presidential veto, voting to impeach, passing of a constitutional amendment and expulsion of a member.
In some cases, Congress has decided to return to the constitutional norm of only needing a simple majority – such as for the judicial nominations during the Obama administration and now with the nomination of Justice Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court by President Trump.
I believe it is time that every piece of legislation should follow the same constitutional precedent and require 51 votes to pass. Clear and simple.
Here is the bottom line: Americans speak at the ballot box. People choose to vote for a candidate partially because they want to give such candidate’s party a chance at a majority. If a party has a majority - Democrat or Republican - it is because the people have given them the responsibility of executing on their views and agenda. That execution should be conducted according to the Constitution, not archaic Senate rules.