Should the Total Number of Members of the House of Representatives be Increased?
Every decade following the Census results, the House of Representatives are reapportioned to match population changes that occurred in the previous 10 years. States that gained residents could gain representatives, while states that had a population decrease could lose representatives. However, even if the total population of the country grows, the total number of Representatives is fixed at 435 under the Permanent Apportionment Act of 1929. However, after the 2020 Census, some strongly advocate for increasing that total number.
Those who argue that the total number of members of the House of Representatives should be increased contend that doing so would allow that body to be more representative of the will of the people. They claim that under the current system, a single representative is too inaccessible given the large number of constituents he or she needs to speak and vote on behalf of. They may also argue that the smallest states are currently over represented under the current system. Finally, they contend that increasing the size of the House of Representatives will increase the diversity of that body, as it will allow more voices to be heard.
Those who oppose increasing the total number of members of the House of Representatives argue that removing the cap on the House of Representatives size will lead to a drastic increase of members of Congress. They contend that this will lead to an increased burden on taxpayers who have to pay for more salaries, office spaces, and other costs. Additionally, they argue that senators are able to represent entire states, so therefore it is not unreasonable to have a representative speak for hundreds of thousands of constituents as many do in densely populated districts. Finally, they may also argue that keeping the House at a capped size prevents it from becoming a massive body that struggles to pass laws due to a large number of factions and interest groups.
So, what do you think? Should the Total Number of Members of the House of Representatives be Increased? Students can answer Yes, it should; No, it should not; or a nuanced answer in between!
Note: Ideal Think the Vote responses include the following:
- Address the question asked in a thoughtful and meaningful manner
- Use cited facts and constitutional arguments when appropriate to support their answers
- Are expressed in cohesive sentences and are free of distracting spelling, punctuation, and grammatical errors
- They address counterarguments and opposing concerns in a respectful manner
- They organize their answer in a manner that flows logically and reads clearly
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