View Poll Results: Should the Size of the House of Representatives be Increased?

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Thread: Increase the Size of the House?

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    Increase the Size of the House?

    Larry J. Sabato's Crystal Ball It

    What do you think of the arguments in this article to increase the size of the House?

    Basically it argues-

    -It would reduce the huge number of constituents per member currently over 700,000, higher than any similar legislative body except India's.

    -The growing number of single member states is contributing to malapportionment. Rhode Island and Montana after 2020 will each have a member representing over a million people each compared to over 700,000 for the average district and about 600,000 for Wyoming.

    -It'll reduce the impact of gerrymandering.

    -It'll increase the amount of rural representation. With the increasing district size it's becoming harder to draw any districts without major population centers.

    It's unlikely of course that this will ever happen because the House would have to approve it. I doubt they'd approve something that would reduce the influence of each individual member.
    There should be Instant Runoff Voting

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    Re: Increase the Size of the House?

    Quote Originally Posted by Anagram View Post
    Larry J. Sabato's Crystal Ball It

    What do you think of the arguments in this article to increase the size of the House?

    Basically it argues-

    -It would reduce the huge number of constituents per member currently over 700,000, higher than any similar legislative body except India's.

    -The growing number of single member states is contributing to malapportionment. Rhode Island and Montana after 2020 will each have a member representing over a million people each compared to over 700,000 for the average district and about 600,000 for Wyoming.

    -It'll reduce the impact of gerrymandering.

    -It'll increase the amount of rural representation. With the increasing district size it's becoming harder to draw any districts without major population centers.

    It's unlikely of course that this will ever happen because the House would have to approve it. I doubt they'd approve something that would reduce the influence of each individual member.
    I thought that the districts and number of reps per state were set by population, so how can districts be so disparate? I'm trying sincerely to see how those seats are doled out as it stands now, and I'm having a harder time than I thought. Lots discussing what you're talking about here, but to find just exactly why something that was I thought intended to reflect balanced population size isn't doing that,... well, I've not found that yet. Still looking for the right search terms.

    OIC, it comes about due to the disparity among single representative states. Got it.

    Yes, there needs to be a base reset every census that sets the population of the least populated state as equal to one representative, and then it should reset the number of reps based on that.
    Last edited by Summerwind; 03-06-14 at 06:41 PM.
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    Re: Increase the Size of the House?

    Quote Originally Posted by Anagram View Post
    Larry J. Sabato's Crystal Ball It

    What do you think of the arguments in this article to increase the size of the House?

    Basically it argues-

    -It would reduce the huge number of constituents per member currently over 700,000, higher than any similar legislative body except India's.

    -The growing number of single member states is contributing to malapportionment. Rhode Island and Montana after 2020 will each have a member representing over a million people each compared to over 700,000 for the average district and about 600,000 for Wyoming.

    -It'll reduce the impact of gerrymandering.

    -It'll increase the amount of rural representation. With the increasing district size it's becoming harder to draw any districts without major population centers.

    It's unlikely of course that this will ever happen because the House would have to approve it. I doubt they'd approve something that would reduce the influence of each individual member.
    Here's some wiki on the efforts to date to expand the HoR.

    United States congressional apportionment - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Proposed expansion

    The first proposed amendment to the Constitution within the Bill of Rights attempted to set a pattern for growth of the House along with the population, but has not been ratified.

    The proposed Wyoming Rule calls for expanding the House until the standard Representative-to-population ratio equals that of the smallest entitled unit (currently the state of Wyoming). This proposal is primarily designed to address the fact that some House districts are currently nearly twice the size of others; for instance, there are nearly 1 million residents in Montana's single district, compared to about 570,000 in Wyoming's. See List of U.S. states by population. It should be noted that, while a larger House size will generally result in the smallest and largest districts being proportionally closer in size, this is not always the case. Therefore in some cases, the Wyoming Rule may actually result in an increase in the ratio of the sizes of the largest and smallest districts. For instance, after the 1990 Census and with a House size of 435, the largest district (Montana's At-large district) had 799,065 residents, 76% larger than the smallest district (Wyoming's At-large district with 453,588 residents). The Wyoming Rule would have given a House size of 547 in 1990. Using that size, the largest district (North Dakota's At-large district) would have had 638,800 residents, 92% larger than the smallest districts (Delaware's two districts at approximately 333,084 residents each), which is larger than the 76% figure mentioned above.

    On May 21, 2001, Rep. Alcee Hastings sent a dear colleague letter pointing out that U.S. expansion of its legislature had not kept pace with other countries.[17]

    In 2007, during the 110th Congress, Representative Tom Davis introduced a bill in the House of Representatives that would add two seats to the House, one for Utah and one for the District of Columbia. It was passed by the House, but was tripped up by procedural hurdles in Senate and withdrawn from consideration. An identical bill was reintroduced during the 111th Congress. In February 2009 the Senate adopted the measure 61-37. In April 2010, however, House leaders decided to shelve the proposal.[18]
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    Re: Increase the Size of the House?

    Quote Originally Posted by Anagram View Post
    Larry J. Sabato's Crystal Ball It

    What do you think of the arguments in this article to increase the size of the House?

    Basically it argues-

    -It would reduce the huge number of constituents per member currently over 700,000, higher than any similar legislative body except India's.

    -The growing number of single member states is contributing to malapportionment. Rhode Island and Montana after 2020 will each have a member representing over a million people each compared to over 700,000 for the average district and about 600,000 for Wyoming.

    -It'll reduce the impact of gerrymandering.

    -It'll increase the amount of rural representation. With the increasing district size it's becoming harder to draw any districts without major population centers.

    It's unlikely of course that this will ever happen because the House would have to approve it. I doubt they'd approve something that would reduce the influence of each individual member.
    I would support increasing the size by a fairly large amount. I would combine that with actual anti-gerrymandering laws as part of the overall reform.
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    Re: Increase the Size of the House?

    Quote Originally Posted by Anagram View Post
    Larry J. Sabato's Crystal Ball It

    What do you think of the arguments in this article to increase the size of the House?

    Basically it argues-

    -It would reduce the huge number of constituents per member currently over 700,000, higher than any similar legislative body except India's.

    -The growing number of single member states is contributing to malapportionment. Rhode Island and Montana after 2020 will each have a member representing over a million people each compared to over 700,000 for the average district and about 600,000 for Wyoming.

    -It'll reduce the impact of gerrymandering.

    -It'll increase the amount of rural representation. With the increasing district size it's becoming harder to draw any districts without major population centers.

    It's unlikely of course that this will ever happen because the House would have to approve it. I doubt they'd approve something that would reduce the influence of each individual member.
    There's a million people in Montana? With urban areas dominated by Dems it's a problem for the more conservative rural areas that are less populated because their interests are so far apart. It's definitely something to ponder.

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    Re: Increase the Size of the House?

    There is a cap set by law, meaning we would have t pass a new law to raise the number. We all know how hard it is to even get Reps and Dems to talk to each other is. This seems a stretch.
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    Re: Increase the Size of the House?

    Voted NO because we already have enough idiots in DC, no need for more.

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    Re: Increase the Size of the House?

    Not until we clean up the government, all increasing the size of the House will do is allow even more crooks into power. We've got enough of those already, thank you.
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    Re: Increase the Size of the House?

    Quote Originally Posted by Summerwind View Post
    I thought that the districts and number of reps per state were set by population, so how can districts be so disparate? I'm trying sincerely to see how those seats are doled out as it stands now, and I'm having a harder time than I thought. Lots discussing what you're talking about here, but to find just exactly why something that was I thought intended to reflect balanced population size isn't doing that,... well, I've not found that yet. Still looking for the right search terms.

    OIC, it comes about due to the disparity among single representative states. Got it.

    Yes, there needs to be a base reset every census that sets the population of the least populated state as equal to one representative, and then it should reset the number of reps based on that.
    Because states like Wyoming get at least one, the number the currently have, but the state has less than 600K in population. Other states get more for having a higher population.

    Wy, Mt, ND, SD, Vt, De and Ak all have only one seat. The minimum number for a state. So the comparison is really off because it is not comparing the number in multi-district states vs single district states.

    Why anyone would think a greater number would be better is beyond me. If you can't get 435 people to agree on something, how are you going to get an even greater number? Frankly, we should decrease the number and not allow more than one for any given metropolitan area.
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    Re: Increase the Size of the House?

    Quote Originally Posted by DVSentinel View Post
    Because states like Wyoming get at least one, the number the currently have, but the state has less than 600K in population. Other states get more for having a higher population.

    Wy, Mt, ND, SD, Vt, De and Ak all have only one seat. The minimum number for a state. So the comparison is really off because it is not comparing the number in multi-district states vs single district states.

    Why anyone would think a greater number would be better is beyond me. If you can't get 435 people to agree on something, how are you going to get an even greater number? Frankly, we should decrease the number and not allow more than one for any given metropolitan area.
    I disagree. Firstly, you don't need all 435 of them to agree, you just need a majority. Secondly, part of the problem is that there are only representatives per major metro areas. There are enough rural people in America with their own needs to warrant some districts, but with the way it is now, there is no way to draw them without a major population center.
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