Rep. Alcee Hastings, D-Fla., has introduced a bill aimed at increasing the size of the House of Representatives, which has remained the same for the last century.
Hastings wants to establish a commission that would examine whether there is an adequate number of members to meet the needs of the country, which he points out, has added four states since the the ranks of the House were increased.
Interestingly, Hastings wants the commission “to explore alternatives to the current method of electing representatives,” such a proportional representation or a regional primary system.
This alone likely makes the bill dead on arrival, as members have been fiercely protective of the electoral process. Unlike the Senate, where the governor can appoint replacements, every House member must be elected, and few want to change that.
Hastings argues that smaller districts would encourage greater participation.
"An increase in the size of the House of Representatives will have a profound impact on the American political system,” he said in a statement. “The benefits include greater access and personal interaction for our constituents, reduced campaign spending, smaller Congressional districts, and, more importantly, better representation for the American people.”