U.S. Constitution
Rep. Fink takes steps to make U.S. government more representative, less bureaucratic
RELEASE|June 26, 2024
Contact: Andrew Fink

State Rep. Andrew Fink has introduced a resolution to ratify a constitutional amendment that would fix U.S. House districts at no more than 50,000 residents per district.

The Congressional Apportionment Amendment is one of the twelve original proposed amendments to the U.S. Constitution that James Madison drafted in 1789. All twelve passed by two-thirds votes of both houses of Congress, but only ten were immediately ratified by the states, the apportionment amendment being one of the two that were not. But if Fink’s resolution were passed, Michigan would take the lead in ratifying the Constitutional Apportionment Amendment.

The purpose of the Congressional Apportionment Amendment was to ensure that U.S. House members continue to represent small constituencies even as the population grew.

Prior to 1913, Congress increased the size of the House of Representatives every ten years in conjunction with each census. As America’s population grew, so did the size of the House. But since then, the House remained fixed at 435 members and has stayed that way for more than a hundred years, save for some small deviations.

Today, Michigan’s U.S. Representatives represent more than 750,000 residents each.

“The nature of the people’s branch has been drastically diminished,” Fink said. “The House was designed to be the body of government closest to the people, but now members of Congress pay less attention to members of their districts and spend more time on cable news trying to fundraise nationally.”

Fink also said having so few congressional districts has resulted in the lawmakers who represent them to be far more removed from the concerns of citizens than the founders ever intended and makes it nearly impossible for an outsider to break through.

“A larger body of representatives would also ensure that only lobbying efforts broadly supported by the people could succeed,” Fink said. “Special interest groups inordinately influence policy in D.C. because there are only a handful of people in the House they need to persuade.”

Michigan’s ratification of the Congressional Apportionment Amendment would mark an important step towards addressing these issues.

House Joint Resolution T was referred to the House Judiciary Committee.


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