Berkeley, California — Making progress on Joe Biden's agenda or anything more Progressive, now requires a super majority of 60 votes in the Senate, because of an old Senate rule requiring that many votes to end debate and allow vote on a proposed law.
It's called the filibuster and it's not in the Constitution. In fact the filibuster is arguably unconstitutional because it lets a minority of legislators block the majority.
It was popularized in the Jim Crow era by southerners who wanted to prevent the northern majority from passing legislation in favor of voting rights to Black citizens.
The filibuster could be ended today if a simple majority of Senate lawmakers including the vice president has tiebreaker if necessary votes to change the rule and allow legislation to be passed by a majority. It is time to end the filibuster.
ROBERT B. REICH is Chancellor's Professor of Public Policy at the Goldman School of Public Policy at the University of California, Berkeley.