Matthew Cossolotto Makes The Case To Expand The House Of Representatives

Matthew Cossolotto, The Podium Pro

Matthew Cossolotto,  a former aide to House Speaker Jim Wright and Congressman Leon Panetta (now head of the CIA), knows about politics. So, when he says the US House of Representatives should expand to a larger number of Reps from its current 435, it pays to listen.

The framers of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights intended that the total population of Congressional districts never exceed 50,000 to 60,000. Currently, however, the average population size of the districts is nearly 700,000. Are we being adequately represented according to the wishes of the Founding Fathers? Matthew says, “no.” Each member of Congress cannot represent 700,000 well. It’s harder to connect with citizens to make the citizens feel represented.

Increasing the size of Congress would improve access to Representatives, improve connections between the Representative and voters s/he serves, minimize the need for lobbyists and reduce overwhelming the Representatives, according to Matthew.

He lives by the motto, “If the House won’t raise the ceiling, the voters should raise the roof.”

One of the more interesting factoids to come out of our conversation was that the number of Representatives was capped at 435—an arbitrary number—by statute in 1928. Strict Constitutionalists believe any ceiling placed on the number of Representatives should be a Constitutional Amendment, not a statute.

Here the entire interview below:

1 reply
  1. Jeff Quidam
    Jeff Quidam says:

    Representational enlargement is not a new idea: The intended purpose of the very first amendment inscribed in the original Bill of Rights was to establish the maximum population size of congressional districts at 50,000. View the “zoomable” Bill of Rights in order to see “Article the first” and the other eleven amendments proposed therein:

    Use the pull-down menu to the right of the image in order to zoom to each of the twelve amendments; its text will also appear below the image.

    “Article the first” was never ratified due to an inexplicable error in its wording. For more information about the intended first amendment, and the critical need for representational enlargement, please download and read “Taking Back Our Republic”:

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