Sixty votes to pass a stimulus bill, 60 votes to pass a budget and 60 votes to pass health care reform, a new energy plan, an education program or basically any serious initiative the president proposes.
This acceptance of a supermajority to get anything done in America has gotten way out of hand. Now, 16 states require a two-thirds vote to raise taxes, and some, such as California, demand it to approve even a state budget. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger faced serious paralysis as his state confronted the economic crisis.
There is a place for a supermajority: impeachment, eviction of members, veto overrides, votes on treaties and constitutional amendments.
But we should not have such requirements for the regular conduct of legislative business, especially at times like these, when action is required to move the country forward.