Expand the House of Representatives

Expanding the number of Representatives is a U.S. political reform with a high power-to-weight ratio. Currently 435 Representatives serve in the House, and one estimate from 2018 identified 930 Representatives as one possible sweet spot:

That is why it is high time that the size of the House increase dramatically, which can be achieved with mere legislation, not a Constitutional amendment. Specifically, by my calculations, there ought to be 930 seats

Expanding the size of the House of Representatives improves U.S. politics in several ways, by:

  • … making the House of Representatives more representative

    Limiting the House to 435 Representatives skews the representation of smaller states (both positively and negatively). For example, Montana only gets one Representative per ~989,000 voters, whereas Rhode Island gets one Representative for ~526,000 (almost twice the Representatives per capita).

  • … making the Electoral College more representative

    Each state receives one elector per Representative and one elector per Senator, so increasing the number of Representatives increases the number of electors, fixing similar disparities when voting for President.

    The increase in electors also makes the Electoral College more democratic in another way. Every state receives two electors that correspond to their two Senators and increasing the total number of electors dilutes the influence of the two electors that state gets for free (which disproportionately benefits smaller states).

  • … increasing the likelihood of passing the National Popular Vote

    Making the Electoral College more representative increases the likelihood of passing the National Popular Vote, an interstate compact that takes effect when ratified by a group of states representing a majority of electors. As the name suggests, ratifying the National Popular Vote converts the vote for President into a popular vote without the need for a Constitutional amendment.

  • … improving the responsiveness of Representatives to constituents

    Increasing the number of Representatives from 435 to 930 would decrease the number of constituents they represent from ~708,000 people / Representative to ~331,000 people / Representative. The smaller number of constituents allows Representatives to be in closer touch with the needs of the people they represent and more easily process constituent services.

  • … reducing the influence of money in politics

    Fewer constituents means that Representatives can run cheaper campaigns, which in turn makes them less beholden to moneyed interests.

Moreover, changing the size of the House of Representatives does not require a Constitutional amendment and only requires Congress to pass a new law, making this one of the most effective political reforms.