Increase the size of Congress?

This is a pretty compelling idea.

For the first 140 years of the republic, the House increased in size with the population in varying degrees, going from 65 members originally to 435. A Republican Congress and president enacted the Reapportionment Act of 1929, which arbitrarily capped the number at 435 members. Although the U.S. population has more than doubled since 1929, the individual’s voice in the federal government has diminished. Now is the time to re-establish that voice with a Congress that is closer to the level of representation envisioned by the founders.

When the Iraqi parliament is more representative than the U.S. House of Representatives, maybe that is a sign that something needs to be changed.

5 Responses to Increase the size of Congress?

  1. Observer says:

    I agree with the idea and have thought so for some time (pats self on back).

    If the size of the House was at least doubled it would be easier to get better “local” representation.

    I am sure both the left-wing and the right-wing will present compelling objections but people should support this idea for one simple(ish) reason:

    “……… that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”

  2. John says:

    I think we’re able to accomplish the desirable level of gridlock pretty well with current numbers. Up them, though, and we might get strychnine levels of government paralysis. That’s not a bad goal, actually.

  3. deadcenter says:

    Instead of increasing the size of Congress, and therefore attaching more more mouths to the Federal teat, how about we repeal the 17th Amendment so that the States once again have skin in the game of how funds are 1) collected and 2) spent?

    Lose the 17th, go back to 1912 and I think we’d be seeing a lot of 1 term Senators and a whole lot less pork barrel spending.

  4. Kasey says:

    As a purely practical standpoint, How would we fit that many new congresspeople into Washington? I know absolutely nothing about how their offices are set up (other than what I saw on the West Wing, so take that as you will), or how many people each one employs, or even if their offices are really all in the actual capitol building. Would they have to renovate the whole building, move some congresspeople off the hill? If the size of congress increased substantially, how much would it increase what we pay for Congress? Would it be a drop in the bucket, comparatively, or would it really be significant?

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