A Radical Old Idea: Expanding the U.S. House of Representatives
In this virtual event, Danielle Allen, Norm Ornstein, Yuval Levin, Congressman Earl Blumenauer, Congressman Derek Kilmer, and Pete Peterson discussed why increasing the number of representatives in the House is crucial to the health of our Democracy and what it will take to restore the Founders’ vision for the First Branch.
America’s Founding Fathers intended that the House of Representatives would grow as the population grew – and for more than a century, it did. Then, in 1929, Congress capped the size of the House at 435 members. Since then, the American population has tripled. As a result, each member of the House now represents on average more than three quarters of a million constituents.
Congress is meant to be the branch of the federal government closest to the people, but it is difficult for regular Americans to make their voices heard when they are just one in 760,000. A growing body of experts and policymakers, inspired by the American Academy’s Our Common Purpose Report, are working to fix this problem.