Checks and Balances

Checks & Balances
Constitution of 1787 Checks and Balances: "Nothing checks ambition better than ambition."   - Economic Home Runs,  page 28

Reversing the 62nd Congress

By: Stanley Yavneh Klos

With the original First Amendment proposed in the Bill of RightsArticle the Firstin the dustbin of history the size of Congressional Districts that were supposed to be capped at 50,000 to 60,000 citizens increased steadily from 1790 to 1910. Although the 65 Representative membership of 1789 grew  to 394, Congressional Districts expanded far beyond the proposed 1789 First Amendment's citizen cap soaring from 36,266 to 223,500 citizens by 1910.  This steady Congressional District growth, however, was not fast enough for the 62nd Congress. In 1911, in a complete reversal of the 1789 House and Senate's Article the First resolutions, the 62nd Congress passed Public Law 62-5, which launched a process that would eventually limit  the House of Representatives to 435 members. Today, 100 years later, Congressional Districts have swelled to 725,000 citizens, which requires incumbents to spend  seventy percent (70%) of their time fundraising and campaigning to persuade voters to re-elect them in the recurring two-year election cycles. Consequently, the people have lost their check over the House of Representatives while over 12,000 congressional staffers and 11,000 lobbyists wield undue influence and conduct the business of the House of Representatives on Capitol Hill. 

On the U.S. Senate "Check and Balance" side, the 62nd Congress proposed on May 13, 1912, the 17th Amendment, which upon its ratification stripped the States' power to check the federal government. Specifically, the Constitution of 1787 had empowered the state legislatures, and not the people, to elect United States Senators.  The framers expected that Senators elected by state legislatures would remain dutiful advocates of States' Rights thus checking national government's power over the states. The 62nd Congress' 17th Amendment, which established the direct election of Senators by popular vote, drastically changed the Senate's States' Rights character. Today, 100+ years later, the average population size of a state has soared to over six million citizens requiring incumbents and candidates to raise millions of dollars to conduct state-wide campaigns. Today,  Advocacy Groups (also known as pressure groups, lobby groups, campaign groups, interest groups, or special interest groups) that effectively deliver votes and raise the necessary capital to reach millions of voters wield undue influence over the Senate. The States have lost their power over the Senate and thus the federal government  no longer has  States' Rights check.

The 62nd Congress' House Apportionment Bill and its 17th Amendment have now stood for over 100 years and the double legislation's neutering of States' Rights and people's check over the House of Representatives are facts that few citizens know about, let alone understand.  

Checking The House of Representatives 
& The Forgotten First Amendment

In 1787, constitution framer James Madison argued that a strong federal system was needed to govern the United States. The new constitution was constructed in the knowledge that nothing checks ambition better than ambition. The House of Representatives was crafted to be both the people's voice and their check on the new national government. 

In the original constitutional debates there were pro-federalist delegates proposing that a House member could represent up to 60,000 people, while anti-federalist framers sought one House member representing up to 20,000 citizens.  The debate of capping the population of Congressional Districts, therefore, ranged between the limits of 20,000 to 60,000 people. 

In September 1787, they settled on the minimum language, "The number of representatives shall not exceed one for every 30,000," thus limiting a Congressional District minimum size to 30,000 citizens. No Congressional district maximum size, however, was agreed upon and this matter, like many others, would be addressed in the framing of additional amendments after the Constitution of 1787 was ratified. 

Richard Henry Lee, an Articles of Confederation President, a Declaration of Independence signer, and an anti-federalist wrote in 1787 that the new federal government, without a Bill of Rightswhich included the placing of maximum population size on all Congressional District, would "… produce a coalition of monarchy of men, military men, aristocrats and drones, whose noise, impudence and zeal exceed all belief.”   

On September 19th, 1787, the new constitution was presented to the United States in Congress Assembled (USCA) for their consideration. Richard Henry Lee, led the effort in the USCA to amend the Constitution of 1787 with a Bill of Rights.   Lee attempts to have the 1787 Congress amend the Philadelphia Convention's constitution  before transmitting it to the States for a 13 State unanimous ratification failed.  On September 28th, 1787, the USCA submitted the Philadelphia Convention's constitution, unchanged, to the States  for ratification.  

The lack of a Bill of Rights became a major impediment in the ratification process with both North Carolina and Rhode Island failing to adopt the new constitution. In danger of loosing New York and his home state of Virginia,  James Madison joined John Jay and Alexander Hamilton in writing a series of newspaper essays, now known as the Federalist Papers, supporting ratification. In an Independent Journal essay (Federalist #55), on February 13, 1788, James Madison addressed the House of Representatives and how it was  beholden to the people: 
The true question to be decided then is, whether the smallness of the number, as a temporary regulation, be dangerous to the public liberty? Whether sixty-five members for a few years, and a hundred or two hundred for a few more, be a safe depositary for a limited & well-guarded power of legislating for the United States ?

The number of which this branch of the legislature is to consist, at the outset of the government, will be sixty-five. Within three years a census is to be taken, when the number may be augmented to one for every thirty thousand inhabitants; and within every successive period of ten years the census is to be renewed, and augmentations may continue to be made under the above limitation. It will not be thought an extravagant conjecture that the first census will, at the rate of one for every thirty thousand, raise the number of representatives to at least one hundred. … it can scarcely be doubted that the population of the United States will by that time, if it does not already, amount to three millions. At the expiration of twenty-five years, according to the computed rate of increase, the number of representatives will amount to two hundred, and of fifty years, to four hundred. This is a number which, I presume, will put an end to all fears arising from the smallness of the body. 
Based on Madison’s projections, there would be 10,290 Representatives to the 112th Congress and not the current 435. It is also important to note that James Madison was prognosticating in a period when minorities, women, and 18-20 year old citizens did not have the right to vote.

The Constitution of 1787 was ratified by 11 States in 1788 and the United States in Congress Assembled resolved to dissolve itself and resolved the new government would assemble on March 4th, 1789.  Richard Henry Lee was elected a U.S. Senator from Virginia by the legislature for the purpose to insure that the 1st U.S. Bicameral Congress would formulate and send a Bill of Rights to the States for ratification in its first session of Congress. Senator Lee, dedicated to the cause, would resign his seat just nine months after ten of the 12 amendments, passed by the 1789 Congress, were ratified on December 15th, 1789.    

 Article the First failed enactment because the 1789 Congress submitted the wrong Article the First to the States for Ratification.  The September 24th, 1789, 12 Amendment House resolution,  proposed adopting the Senate's 12 amendments to the constitution rather than their 17 amendments with complete verbiage changes to the Senate's 3rd and 8th Articles along with a botched and incomplete language change to Article the First. This poorly worded resolution, was approved by both the House and Senate and resulted in the error of Congress transmitting the dysfunctional "less to more" House Article the First, rather than the Senate's  functional Article the First (as the resolution actually directed) to the States for ratification.  
Article the First: After the first enumeration, required by the first article of the Constitution, there shall be one Representative for every thirty thousand, until the number shall amount to one hundred; to which number one Representative shall be added for every subsequent increase of forty thousand, until the Representatives shall amount to two hundred, to which number one Representative shall be added for every subsequent increase of sixty thousand persons.
The ratification of the wrong Article the First ended with Kentucky, the 11th State, in 1794 due to the dysfunctional language.  Congressional Districts thus were not capped at 60,000 people and this stall did not seem to trouble the 3rd Federal Bicameral Congress, which had just passed An Act apportioning Representatives among the several States, according to the first enumeration, which was the object of the first Presidential veto, that attempted to decrease Congressional District sizes below the Constitutional 30,000 citizen minimum.  George Washington's veto was upheld.

Additionally, the 1790 Census had reported 3,808,096 citizens in the United State and after congressional state reapportionment, the House of Representatives had convened the 2nd bicameral Congress with 105 House members, which breaks down to with one Representative for 36,266 citizens, well below the 60,000 maximum proposed in Article the First. Women, slaves and minors (under 21) counted in the census were not permitted to vote, which left a pool of 843,554 men, with a ratio of 1 House member for 6,034 eligible voters.   The fact that the first amendment failed ratification due to botched language and then a transmittal error  did not seem to appear relevant to the 1795.

Consequently, there was no fear in the 1790's, despite the Article the First gaffes that Congress, that sought to reduce Congressional District sizes below 30,000 citizens, would ever seek to enlarge Congressional Districts beyond the 60,000 maximum  size.   Article the First, therefore, was forgotten.


The House of Representatives and the 16th Amendment 

In order to understand why the House Apportionment Acts have been so problematic, it is important to reflect on the Sixteenth Amendment that predated the 62nd Congressional legislation that capped the House of Representatives and formulated the 17th Amendment.

The 16th Amendment, which legalized Income Tax, despite the remonstrations of many Republican pundits, was not the brainchild of Woodrow Wilson but of Abraham Lincoln, whose congress enacted the Revenue Act of 1861 as a temporary measure to fund his government during the Civil War. Income tax remained in force after the war, funding reconstruction until the Supreme Court declared the Income Tax Bill of 1894 unconstitutional in Pollock v. Farmers' Loan & Trust Co (1895).

Fifteen years later, another Republican U.S. President would champion federal income tax, this time as an amendment to the Constitution of 1787. Specifically, President William Howard Taft, in an address to Congress, proposed a 2% federal income tax on corporations by way of excise duties. The President also proposed, on June 16th, 1909, a constitutional amendment to legalize income tax. Less than a month later, the resolution now known as the Sixteenth Amendment, was passed by the Republican controlled 61st U.S. Congress with Speaker of the House Joseph Gurney Cannon (R-Ill) & Vice President  James S. Sherman (R-NY) executing the Joint resolution.

16th Amendment as proposed by Republican President William Howard Taft that allows the federal government to collect income tax - Signers: Speaker of the House Joseph Gurney Cannon (R-Ill) & Vice President  James S. Sherman (R-NY) -- Image from the National Archives

The state legislatures considered the Sixteenth Amendment during the presidential election of 1912 between William Howard Taft (Republican Party), Theodore Roosevelt (Progressive Party) and Woodrow Wilson (Democratic Party) who were all advocates of a federal income tax. U.S. Senator Robert Lafollette’s National Progressive Republican League supported Theodore Roosevelt over Taft. The splitting of the Republican Party resulted in the election of Woodrow Wilson

The 16th Amendment was ratified by 4/5th’s of the States on February 25, 1913. Shortly thereafter, the new Democratic controlled Congress utilized their income tax power to pass the Revenue Act of 1913, which was enacted with President Wilson’s signature on October 3rd, 1913. The enabler of the current federal income tax system, therefore, was not Woodrow Wilson but the Taft Administration and the  Republican controlled 61st Congress. 

The Revenue Act of 1913 implemented a federal government tax that eventually would shift the balance of financial power between the federal government and the States to Congress. Today the States often find themselves in a position where the choice is either to adopt U.S Congressional legislation as a state law or to lose federal funding. Under this new configuration, “the people” are now governed primarily by federal, as opposed to State, laws. 

Fortunately, the Sixteenth Amendment is a revenue law that remains subject to Constitution of 1787, Article I, Section Seven which states: “All Bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with Amendments as on other Bills.” Therefore, power of income tax revenue bequeathed to Congress by the Sixteenth Amendment must originate from the House of Representatives. 

Finally, since 1913 the tax codes that have sprung from the Sixteenth Amendment are so complex and time-consuming that more than 50% of Congressional members’ time is spent on revenue bills. Indiana University’s Center of Congress reports:
The work involved in doing this is arduous, and — a reflection of its importance — it is the single most time-consuming thing Congress does. One veteran observer of Congress, asked to estimate how much time Members spend on budgetary matters, replied: "Almost all." That's an exaggeration, but it may not seem like it during those many weeks each year when Congress is preoccupied with the budget resolution or the appropriations bills. In recent decades, about half of all House roll call votes have been budget-related; in the Senate the percentage is even higher.
Therefore, one can understand how much more important it is in the 21st Century for the House of Representatives to be truly accountable to working class citizens versus in the Republic's first 122 years, when Congress had no income taxing authority over its constituents. 

Having addressed the implementation of the Sixteenth Amendment, we now turn to a scrutiny of the 1911 and 1929 Apportionment Acts and their impact on We The People’s check over the House of Representatives. 

Limiting the Size of the House

The 435 member limitation on the House of Representatives began on August 8, 1911, when President William H. Taft (R) signed the Apportionment Act of 1911, increasing House membership from 391 to 433.

The act also included provisions to add two more members when New Mexico and Arizona became states. The legislation took effect on March 13, 1913, during the 63rd Congress (1913–1915). 

President William Howard Taft  White House Oil

Debating the bill, many members raised concerns that the House was growing to an unwieldy size. Republican Representative Edgar Crumpacker of Indiana, however, who chaired the House Committee on the Census, argued just the opposite:
Members are . . . supposed to reflect the opinion and to stand for the wishes of their constituents. If we make the ratio [of persons per Representative] too large the idea of representation becomes attenuated and less definite. The personal interest of the voter in his representative becomes less important to him, and we may lose something of the vital strength of our representative form of government.
Eight-term Republican Congressman, Edgar Crumpacker of Indiana
chaired the Committee on Census for three terms 

Congress, however, failed to re-apportion the House for the first time after a decennial census in 1920 because the members could not agree on a plan and the Constitution of 1787 was vague calling only for at least one Representative per state and that no more than one for every 30,000 persons. Previously, the House reapportioned itself in a manner that expanded the representation of the early Congresses. The previous methods for calculating apportionment by the 1920’s, however, caused the smaller rural states to lose representation to the growing larger urbanized states. A political battle erupted between rural and urban factions resulting in no reapportionment following the 1920 Census.

Republican Majority Leader John Q. Tilson

It was not until the eve of the next census that Republican Majority Leader John Q. Tilson of Connecticut, took the lead in developing a House reapportionment plane for the 1930's. In direct opposition to the  1789 House and Senate Article The First Amendments, Tilson led the effort to pass the Permanent Apportionment Act of 1929, fixing the number of Representatives at 435. He argued that this new act dispelled “the danger of failing to reapportion after each decennial census, as contemplated by the Constitution.”

Herbert Hoover was President during the enactment of
the  Permanent Apportionment Act of 1929

William B. Bankhead of Alabama, in opposition, described the plan as “an abdication and surrender of vital fundamental powers.” In 1941, Congress adopted the current formula for reapportioning House seat districts still limiting the House of Representatives to 435 members (See 54 Stat.L. 761, November 15, 1941), where it has remained, except for a temporary increase to 437 Members from 1959 to 1961 after Alaska and Hawaii achieved statehood.

Since then, Congressional District populations have soared. In 2011, with the 2010 census complete, the official House member/citizen ratio (dividing the 2010 April US Census population of 309,183,463 by 435) reached 1 HR Member representing 710,767 citizens. 

2010 Congressional Apportionment population of 309,183,463 submitted "To the Congress of the United States: Pursuant to title 2, United States Code, section 2a(a), I transmit herewith the statement showing the apportionment population for each State as of April 1, 2010, and the number of Representatives to which each State would be entitled. BARACK OBAMA, THE WHITE HOUSE, January 5, 2011."

Consequently, every two years incumbents and challengers are now forced to raise millions of dollars to reach 726,000 citizens to win or retain their seat in the House of Representatives.  

How to Persuade 726,000 Citizens Every Two Years to a  "Elect Me" to the House of Representatives.  This has resulted in a membership of old (Average Age of the House 57and wealthy incumbents (Average Net Worth $6.6 million),   stripping the vitality of youth and working class common sense from the House of Representatives.  

House of Representatives & Birthing Political Parties

Throughout its first 123 years, the House of Representatives grew in numbers by 670%, and Congressional Districts eventually exceeded 60,000 maximum citizen size established in  Article the First.

Throughout the first 123 years, the House of Representatives grew in numbers by 670% with the increasing population. -- Economic Home Runs, Corporation, Tampa, Florida, 2008, page 58

From 1912 to 2012 the U.S. House of Representatives had no growth despite the population increasing from 92,228,496 to 308,745,538. -- Economic Home Runs, Corporation, Tampa, Florida, 2008, page 58

Political parties rose and fell in the House because the individual representatives, answerable to a small constituent base, could mount grass roots campaigns even if they were working class citizens.  Consequently, The House of Representatives was not a product of a political system that habitually reelected incumbents backed by personal wealth, special interest money, and an incredibly powerful two-party nominee system. The  House of Representatives, circa 1789-1910, was populated by members that personally new their constituents and were often the leaders of new political parties. In 1910, the last election year before Public Law 62-5 fixed the size of the House, each Congressional District had only 62,000 eligible voters per House member.  

1789-1912 House of Representatives with Political Parties over 5%  - Economic Home Runs, page 59

Today, each Congressional District has over 540,000 eligible voters, which requires members and challengers alike to join either the Democratic or Republican Party.  Consequently, in the last hundred years the House of Representatives has had only two political parties, as opposed to 20 parties from 1789 to 1912, with more than 5% membership. The laws limiting the House to 435 members has gutted the mechanism for birthing and sustaining new political parties.

Parties in the 1913 - 2013 House of Representatives with over 5%  -- Economic Home Runs, page 58

The House of Representatives & Eligible Voters per Congressional District

Proponents of a 435 person House argue that Congressional District populations have only tripled since 1912 from one member per 223,500 citizens versus one per 710,767 citizens in 2012.  At the very most, they maintain, the House could be restored to 1912 levels by increasing its size to 1300 members far below Article the First levels of 5,153 (12 Amendment House Senate Resolution) or 6,184 (House version).

In 1912, Women did not have the vote. Consequently the Congressional District number of eligible voters was 111,750 and not 223,500 in 1912. Moreover, if you remove the male citizens under 21 (who also were not eligible to vote) and take in account the much larger size of families (more minors), 1912 eligible voters numbers dropped to 62,618 per Congressional District. 

1910 House of Representatives Members funded a campaign to reach 63,000 Eligible Voters -  Economic Home Runs, page 60

It was the Nineteenth Amendment that belatedly granted women suffrage in 1920 and with the 435 member limitation on the House still in place. Virtually overnight the eligible voters in  a Congressional District doubled in size to 126,000 Today, with 710,767 citizens in each Congressional District and smaller families (less minors) each member of the House has 539,223 eligible voters as constituents. Therefore, a candidate for the US House in 2012 must fund a campaign to reach 9x the number of eligible voters found in a 1912, Congressional District.  

2010 House of Representatives Members funded a campaign to reach 540,000 Eligible Voters -- Economic Home Runs, page 60

It is virtually impossible for a member to get to know even the opinion leaders of 540,000 eligible voters, let alone have a personal knowledge the constituents themselves.

The 1911 and 1929 Apportionment Acts, therefore, have significantly limited the people’s ability to meet, and exchange of ideas with their representatives in Congress. This limitation of access has greatly attenuated individual citizen rights to participate in the legislative process.   

Special Interests and Elderly Millionaire Incumbents now hold control over the House of Representatives
Today, House of Representative members no longer are required to concern themselves with individual constituents due to the massive numbers registered voters in each Congressional District. 21st Century door to door campaigning by a candidate or representative is fruitless except as a public relations ploy aimed at attracting TV or viral internet cameras. Mass media, not personal contact, is needed to reach 540,000 eligible voters. Moreover, incumbents and challengers alike – especially if they are unknown to the public -- must now raise millions of dollars to reach the over half a million eligible voters in their districts every two years. Accordingly, PACS, 527s, unions, corporations, the media, and unprecedented personal wealth are all key components of a successful candidacy.

The possibility of a viable working class candidate, running a successful campaign, on ideas and issues, is a pipe dream. The Apportionment Acts have empowered special interests, a highly partisan two-party system, the media, and old incumbents of with great personal wealth to control the House of Representatives.

Additionally, from 1790 to 1911, before the Apportionment Act of 1911's enactment, 20 different parties obtained House membership exceeding 6%. During 1790 to 1911, nine different parties were the largest in their respective Congresses. After enactment of the Apportionment Act of 1911, however, only two parties in the most recent century, 1912 to 2012, can claim to have held more than 4% of, let alone a majority in, the House of Representatives. The mechanism for birthing parties, then, was the second casualty of the 1911 and 1929 Apportionment Acts and force the people who wish to be active in the national government to join either the Democratic or Republican Party.

1789-1912 House of Representatives with Political Parties over 5% -- Economic Home Runs, page 59

The House of Representatives Apportionment Acts, more so than any other law, are responsible for loss the people's voice and check on the federal government.

If the citizens of the United States truly seek a mechanism to break the two-party stranglehold, end partisan politics, birth new political parties, and once again restore the House of Representatives to the control of citizens, Acts limiting the size of the membership to 435 members must be repealed.

As noted earlier, today there are 9x the number of eligible voters found in a 1912 Congressional District. Therefore, the 12 Amendment House/Senate Resolution approving  of Article the First capped districts at 60,000 people, which translates into a 2012 House of 5,153 members.

An Article the First House of Representatives

A House of Representatives, with the Article the First maximum Congressional District size of 60,000 people results in 5,153 members.   Below is a chart showing the number of Representatives, under the House version, allocated to each state utilizing the 2010 Census numbers.

(April 1, 2010)
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
West Virginia

 The above chart’s first three columns utilize the data from the official April 2010 Census reported to Congress by President Barrack Obama on January 5, 2011 which sets the US population number at 309,183,463 for House of Representatives apportionment purposes.  The two far right columns are Article the First Congressional District tallies as if the amendment had been ratified.  The official report, however, only records a 50 State resident population of 306,277,235 “as ascertained by the Twenty-Third Decennial Census under Title 13, United States Code.”  The difference of 2,906,228 citizens in the state tally are the “counts of overseas U.S. military and federal civilian employees (and their dependents living with them) allocated to their home state, as reported by the employing federal agencies.”   Evidently, these citizens when added to their 50 home States (2,906,228 / 50 = 58,124.56 citizens) do not increase the population enough to warrant Congressional district shifts as 2,906,228 / 710,767 = only 4 Representatives spread out over 50 states.  Article the First overseas population numbers, however, would yield 59 additional Representatives over the 50 States (2,906,228 /60,000 = 48 Representatives).   Although the above chart gives the reader an indication of how many Representatives would be in their home state, there are up to 59 representatives to be added into the mix.   Therefore, for the purpose of this article uses the population number of  309,183,463/60,000 resulting in 5,153 representatives.

2010 Congressional Apportionment submitted "To the Congress of the United States: Pursuant to title 2, United States Code, section 2a(a), I transmit herewith the statement showing the apportionment population for each State as of April 1, 2010, and the number of Representatives to which each State would be entitled. BARACK OBAMA THE WHITE HOUSE,  January 5, 2011."

How to Conduct an
Article the First HR Campaign

(Click Here)

Now 5,153 representatives in 2012 may sound like a lot of members and it is seemingly counter-intuitive to increase the House until we consider that roughly 12,426 Congressional staff members (18 per House Member and 68 per committee) are already working as appointed public servants. Accordingly, the House of Representatives has approximately 12,851 public servants (members and staffers) serving in Congress, with only 3.4% elected.

In a House of Representatives of 5,153 members ( Article the First ) as in the 19th and early 20th Century U.S. Republic, the members would be doing most of the work that current staff members carry out for their respective Representatives. By simply following the early 20th-century model, each representative would be limited to 1939 levels of two paid staffers for each of the 5,153 House members (i.e. there was no paid staff before 1893 – the chart shows staff growth from 1893-2013). There would also be ten staffers for each of the 42 committees as per the Legislative Reorganization Act of 1946. Together they, 10,306 paid staff members, 420 Committee Staffers and 5,153 elected House members, would total 15,879 public servants with 32.5% (not 3.4%) of them elected. 

This chart is taken from a 1993 congressional report, this chart shows the increase in the number of staff for each member of the House of Representatives since 1893.  Before 1893 the House members paid for their own staff.  Since the 1919 staff allotment of two, the House of Representatives has been fixed at 435 Representatives.  For more information on House staff and salaries please read  The Number of Congressional Staff Is the Real Problem by Daniel J. Mitchell

"Congressional staffers, public shortchanged by high turnover, low pay." By Luke Rosiak - The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 6, 2012
HR staff has grown from 500 for a 92 Million Population in 1910 to 12,200 (2,420% increase) for a 315 Million Population in 2010 (342% increase), while the number of HR members increased from 394 in 1910 to 435 (9% increase) in 2010. Congressional Districts now exceed 725,000 citizens. According to the Washington Times 25 year old staffers are running the HR with, according to NPR, 11,000 Lobbyists writing the bills.


This would result in members being more “hands on” in bill research and preparation as in the early Republic. Additionally, this would eliminate a House of Representatives run by career staffers who simply move from an incumbent representative to a new representative who is anxious to fill 18 positions with qualified public servants who, more or less, are the real engine of the House. Unlike the situation found in our Republic in the 18th, 19th, and early 20th centuries, the career Capitol Hill staff pool, rather than the representatives, accomplish the majority of the work necessary to enact legislation. The people’s work has be delegated to seemingly obligatory staffers and lobbyists (who regularly write legislative bills) while members of Congress go about the business of raising millions of dollars for reelection campaigns that are necessary to reach 540,000 eligible voters  every two years.

At 5,153 members, each Representative would only have to reach 60,000 citizens, or about 39,000 eligible voting constituents. This representative ratio would provide citizens an opportunity to know and personally interact with their U.S. Representatives, and would require from House members greater accountability to their constituents. 

Moreover, new candidates would be able to mount competitive campaigns without the assistance of PACS, unions, corporations, media, and the two-party political system. An average citizen, in a 1/60,000 member/citizen ratio, would be empowered to mount a grass roots campaign of ideas and issues that could competitively combat a candidacy even backed by massive personal wealth. New political parties would rise and everyone, from the butcher to my wife the professor, would have an opportunity to mount a competitive campaign for the House of Representatives. 

With 5,153 Representatives on Capitol Hill even the President of the United States, like George Washington, would know through the nation’s representatives the ideas and issues of We the People. The House of Representatives would transform Washington D.C. into a microcosm of the 308 million Americans whose representatives would be challenged every two years to answer to less than 39,000 registered voters. This would be a vastly different House of Representatives, which is currently orchestrated by millionaire and special interest incumbents beholden to the current two-party political system, lobbyists, and professional Capitol Hill staffers. 

1790 printing of the 12 Amendments proposed by a 12 of the First Federal Bicameral Congress on September 25, 1789, with the botched House Article the First Version rather than the version the actually passed:
After the first enumeration, required by the first article of the Constitution, there shall be one Representative for every thirty thousand, until the number shall amount to one hundred; to which number one Representative shall be added for every subsequent increase of forty thousand, until the Representatives shall amount to two hundred, to which number one Representative shall be added for every subsequent increase of sixty thousand persons. 

If House of Representatives was compelled to have districts no larger than 60,000 citizens, the Amendment would most likely be implemented similar to the Constitution of 1787. The constitution, after its ratification required the United States in Congress Assembled (USCA) to legislate how and when the new government would be implemented. Likewise, the House and Senate would enact a new House Apportionment Plan to cover everything from redistricting to convening a 5,153 member House of Representatives. 

The issue of salaries, staff size, office space, place to assemble etc… would all be enacted by the sitting Congress in preparation for the new Article the First House of Representatives. Although the task sounds herculean, it is quite doable when you consider the Constitution of 1787 framers and USCA legislators dissolved the entire United States Articles of Confederation government and installed a new one within a year of New Hampshire’s ratification (ratification required only 2/3rds - nine states) of the current constitution.

Unlike that government under the Articles of Confederation, the House of Representatives would not be eliminated and replaced with two different Congresses, a President, and Supreme Court. Nevertheless, the changes in the House would be monumental and to predict what the salaries of the new Representatives would be or how many staff members each would have is well beyond my capabilities.

Additionally, the new Article the First House of Representatives would be empowered to reorganize itself (rules, committees, etc…) in its first session as the 1st Congress did, re-enacting legislation they found sound (i.e. War Department, Northwest Ordinance, etc…) while reinventing other offices (US Foreign Secretary vs. Secretary of State). Moreover, it is likely this Article the First House of Representatives changes would include salaries, staff, and house rules enacted by the transitional Congress.  

Removing the 435 Member Cap on the House of Representatives

If the people, progressive or conservative, Occupy Wall Street or Tea Party, Green Party or Libertarians, truly want their ideas heard and representatives held accountable then citizens must petition Congress to submit the Article the First, as passed by the 1789 Congress, to the States for ratification. 

If the people of the United States then truly want  change in Washington D.C., citizens should heed the wisdom of the 1st Congress and urge their State's legislators to ratify Article the First. 

The  Article the First elected Representatives would revitalize Congress by restoring a constituent synergy to levels experienced at Constitutional Convention and the early US Congresses that legislated under Presidents George WashingtonJohn AdamsThomas JeffersonJames Madison and James Monroe   We are not alone in the call for a larger house:

Scott Scharpen, the founder & president of writes:
Equal and appropriate representation is not a new idea. Rather, it is a core tenet that existed at the founding of our country. The Framers believed that the structure of government was critical to maintain liberty. Creating smaller district sizes, which requires an increase in the size of the U.S. House, will restore the structure of the branch of government whose sole purpose is to faithfully represent the people. While tea parties, protests, town hall meetings and letters to your congressman are helpful tools, in fact, the single greatest power we possess is to VOTE our fellow citizens into office to serve us in an institution “of the people, by the people and for the people.” 
Gail L. Johnson, author of “Two Years to Democracy: The 2Y2D Plan.” writes in the New York Times:
The safeguard most easily restored is a return to small House districts. It can be achieved without a constitutional amendment by the simple passage of a bill to reduce the size of Congressional districts to, say, 100,000 people. House membership would increase from 435 — set by a 1911 law — to about 3,100.
In a New York Times Editorial titled , Build a Bigger House, New York University Professor Dalton Conley and Northwestern University Professor Jacqueline Stevens wrote:
Smaller districts would also end the two-party deadlock. Orange County, Calif., might elect a Libertarian, while Cambridge, Mass., might pick a candidate from the Green Party.

Moreover, with additional House members we’d likely see more citizen-legislators and fewer lifers. In places like New York or Chicago, we would cross at least one Congressional district just walking a few blocks to the grocery store. Our representatives would be our neighbors, people who better understood the lives and concerns of average Americans. 

More districts would likewise mean more precision in distributing them equitably, especially in low-population states. Today the lone Wyoming representative covers about 500,000 people, while her lone counterpart in Delaware reports to 900,000. 

The increase would also mean more elected officials working on the country’s business, reducing the reliance on unaccountable staffers. Most of the House’s work is through committees, overseeing and checking government agencies. 

With more people in Congress, House committee members could see to this critical business themselves — and therefore be more influential, since a phone call from an actual member is a lot more effective than a request from the committee staff. 

True, more members means more agendas, legislation and debates. But Internet technology already provides effective low-cost management solutions, from Google Documents to streaming interactive video to online voting.

Joe A. Wolverton, II, J.D. writes in his January 15th, 2013 In the New American's Article the First: Is Congress Ignoring an Amendment Ratified by the States?
Support for this movement among constitutionalists is growing. The inertia it is experiencing makes sense as Americans committed to restoring the sovereignty of states should have an affinity for such a cause, as a likely effect of successfully repealing the current cap would be strengthening of the ties that should rightfully bind congressmen to constituents.
The case to abandon the 1911 and 1929 Apportionment laws and enact an Article The First amendment is grounded in common sense, the right of the people to be effectively represented, and thus being reengaged in House legislation. 

States Check on the US Senate 

The Constitution of 1787 curtailed the power of the federal government, in favor of the States,  by empowering the state legislatures to check the U.S. Senate:

The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, chosen by the Legislature thereof, for six years; and each Senator shall have one vote.

The  62nd Congress initiated a landmark constitutional change  by passing and submitting to the states an amendment of senators to “elected by the people.”  The States naively surrendered their power to check federal government when they ratified this resolution, the 17th Amendment on April 8, 1913. Today, U.S. Senators are no longer answerable to their respective state legislatures as prescribed in the Constitution of 1787. Today, US Senate Candidates, like Lincoln and Douglas, no longer need to go from state district to state district to hold debates to insure their legislators were elected.  US Senate incumbents are no longer answerable to their respective state legislatures.  Even more so than members of the House, U.S. Senate candidates are answerable to the special-interest groups from unions to corporations that are capable of raising the necessary campaign capital for crafting and disseminating mass-media messages necessary to reach, on average six million citizens in each State

Ironically, it is the direct election of U.S. Senators by popular vote, rather than by State legislative elections, that have resulted in an old (63 average age),  elite ($14 million net worth) and a small privilege class of people controlling the U.S. Senate answerable first and foremost to sources of campaign capital. 

In addition to violating the state suffrage clause of Article V, the 17th Amendment led to the gradual "slide into ignominy" of state legislatures, as well as an over extension of federal power and the rise of special interest groups to fill the power vacuum previously occupied by state legislatures.  Jay S Bybee, a federal judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit wrote in "Ulysses at the Mast: Democracy, Federalism, and the Sirens' Song of the Seventeenth Amendment:"

Politics, like nature, abhorred a vacuum, so senators felt the pressure to do something, namely enact laws. Once senators were no longer accountable to and constrained by state legislatures, the maximizing function for senators was unrestrained; senators almost always found in their own interest to procure federal legislation, even to the detriment of state control of traditional state functions.

James Madison maintained during the debate over the Bill of Rights:
The state legislatures will jealously and closely watch the operations of this Government, and be able to resist with more effect every assumption of power, than any other power on earth can do; and the greatest opponents to a Federal government admit the State Legislatures to be sure guardians of the people’s liberty.
 As Madison makes clear in the Federalist Papers, in order to defend the checks and balances that allow America’s federal system to function, senators would be “elected absolutely and exclusively by state legislatures.” 

The Senate was never intended to be the people’s representative body, but that of the states. George Mason, during the  Constitutional Convention debates to “let the state legislatures appoint the Senate” lest the national government “swallow up the state legislatures.” The 62nd Congress, after 120 years, resolved that they knew better than the framers and henceforward the U.S. Senate is neither a creature or the States.  Instead the Senate is a creature of special interests and multimillionaire candidates.

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