Should the House of Representatives Be Expanded?
For over a century, the United States House of Representatives grew along with the nation. From 65 members in 1790 to 435 in 1913, the expansion of the House ensured the chamber kept with the founders’ vision of representatives who could remain close to the American people. But, in 1929, Congress stopped its tradition of expansion. This has resulted in massive congressional districts and a chamber that has lost its reputation as the “People’s House.”
A new report from the American Academy of Arts & Sciences argues that enlarging the House would help repair the connection between Congress and the public and would help Americans make their voices heard. The report expands on the Academy’s recommendations put forth in Our Common Purpose: Reinventing American Democracy for the 21st Century.
In this event, the American Enterprise Institute and the American Academy of Arts & Sciences joined to discuss how the size of the House of Representatives influences the functioning of our representative democracy.