Opinion: Legislation should only need 51 votes to pass in the Senate

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., flanked by Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., left, and Majority Whip John Cornyn, R-Texas, speaks at the Capitol after President Donald Trump overruled congressional Republicans and his own treasury secretary and cut a deal with Democrats to fund the government and raise the federal borrowing limit for three months, all part of an agreement to speed money to Harvey relief, in Washington, Wednesday, Sept. 6, 2017. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

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.

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