(Washington, D.C.) Today, Congressman Alcee L. Hastings (D-FL) made the following statement on introducing the Congress Commission Act, a bill which would establish the bipartisan Congressional Commission to Strengthen Representative Democracy. The Commission would be mandated to analyze the current size of the House of Representatives, examine alternatives to the current method by which Members are elected, and study the impacts of gerrymandering on representation in the People’s House. Joining Hastings in introducing the bill include: Representatives Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX), Seth Moulton (D-MA), Dean Philips (D-MN), and André Carson(D-IN). (Please find attached a copy of the bill):
“As a Representative to almost 810,000 constituents, I value the importance of fostering a more representative body. It has been almost 110 years since the House of Representatives has increased its ranks even though the United States’ population has more than tripled in size,” said Hastings. “We must examine how this institution is constructed today, so that we can make the necessary changes for a more equitable tomorrow. It is not only within the power of Congress to improve itself, but its our responsibility to do so. Such an effort will result in a Congress that better reflects the constituencies, states, and nation we serve.”
The Congress Commission Act will create the Congressional Commission to Strengthen Representative Democracy, which will analyze the current size of the membership of the House of Representatives, considering the requirements for the institution to carry out its responsibilities in an effective manner as our republic faces growing domestic and international challenges. The Commission will also examine the methods of voting for House Members and the use of gerrymandering in the creation of single-member districts and their impacts on Congressional representation. Furthermore, in determining if reform would make for a more representative body and include more citizens in the electoral process, the Commission will explore alternatives to the current method of electing representatives. Finally, a report will be submitted to Congress and the President by the culmination of the 117th Congress, along with recommended legislative action to target any areas of concern discovered through the Commission’s work.
Congressman Alcee L. Hastings serves as Vice-Chairman of the House Rules Committee, Chairman of the U.S. Helsinki Commission, and Co-Chairman of the Florida Delegation.