At the time, Republican Representative Edgar Crumpacker of Indiana,
who chaired the House Committee on the Census argued against freezing the
number of House seats:
are" supposed to reflect the opinion and to stand for the wishes of their
constituents. If we make the ratio [of persons per Representative] too large
the idea of representation becomes attenuated and less definite. The personal
interest of the voter in his representative becomes less important to him, and
we may lose something of the vital strength of our representative form of
Indeed, he was correct. With a population of over 313 million only
435 people is far too few, leaving one representative per 721,609 people. To
contrast, Great Briton enjoys one representative per 96,523 citizens in their
lower house alone. The tiny state of New Hampshire, having the largest lower
chamber of any state at 200 members, achieves one representative per
approximately 3000 people.
Asking for one representative per 50,000 citizens and increasing
the size of the House of Representatives to over 6,100 members is not
unreasonable, especially when considering that there are already over 15,000
people running Congress, and we only elected a small fraction of them.
Despite the large number and the addition of members, gridlock
would ease, not escalate. The reason why the current House stagnates as it does
is because a few individuals have enormous power through financial backing, the
backing of their party, and the power of their personality. One voice among
6,100 is much less powerful than one in 435.
With Article the First in place, our representatives would
actually represent us. Imagine having the cell phone number of your
representative. Knowing them from the neighborhood, having gone to school
together. They would not be beholden to a faceless special interest and they
would need not fear reprisals from such. They would only have a duty to their
neighbors who elected them. Special interest groups and lobbyists would not be
able to afford buy off enough congress members to make a difference.
Gerrymandering congressional districts would be a thing of the
past. It would be impossible to draw a legislative district that stretches
hundreds of miles negate the voting power of one block or another as physical
size of districts would become too small.
Up until 1911, there were twenty third parties in the United
States that, at given times, controlled over five percent of the House. With
6,100 representatives, third party candidates would be viable because
constituencies would have a choice between more than two candidates including a
third party that better represents them, therefore breaking the two-party system
and forcing the compromise among them. Along those lines, it would be
increasingly difficult for a fraction of a party to hold the rest of the party
at ransom, rather they could break off into their own, more ideologically pure,
As it stands today, each congress member has 27 assistants. The
overwhelming majority of our law makers are not elected. This requires a lot of
money, as do elections where over 700,000 people are voting. With more members
of congress actually doing the work, there would be less of a need for staff.
With a smaller constituency, the cost of an election would drop by
70 percent or more. The need for national or outside groups to fund elections
decreases exponentially. Congressmen and women would be able to fund their
campaign from donors in their own districts alone. There would still be money
in politics, but the "big spenders" are unlikely to spend more than twice as
much on elections than they currently are, and at that price, they could not
afford to own enough members of congress to have significant influence.
America Needs More
Representation and Less Politicians
the size of the House of Representatives is the one thing that allows all other
things to happen; less partisanship, a stronger Constitution, a Congress that
is in check by those who represented them, and overall, an America where
freedom is self-determined by people, not by politicians.
Article the First is only one method of increasing our representation to the
point where the federal government will function. Perhaps 6,100 reps, as the
amendment prescribes, is too many. Maybe another number, like 721, a little
under one representative per 100,000 citizens, would be a better start.
Congress has the power to increase the number of representatives at any time.
However, this is unlikely to happen because it definitely means each individual
member losing power and influence.
this time, however, Article the First has already been ratified by eleven
states, (some argue that Connecticut did ratify it, making it technically the
law of the land), leaving 27 more to go.
something and say something by writing to your Representative and asking them
to sponsor legislation to raise representation. Write to your state
representative(s) and state senator and ask for the ratification of Article the
First to be considered for ratification (that is, if your state hasn't already
ratified it), or write to the Archivist and ask him to comment on whether or
not Article the First realty is a ratified amendment to the Constitution.
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