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The 2Y2D Plan

In 1911, a Wright Brothers airplane flew across the United States for the first time. The flight took 84 days, stopping 70 times. Also in 1911, as a result of the 1910 census, it was decided that 435 was the appropriate number of congressmen to speak for the American people.

The House of Representatives has been frozen at 435 ever since.

Today we would not dream of taking 84 days to fly cross country. A 1911 Wright Brothers plane belongs in a museum. Why settle for representation that’s outdated and insufficient?

The whole reason the Constitution requires a census every 10 years is to change the number of members and to redistributed the seats so the House remains truly representative of the People—as in “We, the People,” who gave our consent to be governed by this Constitution, and who now seem willing for it to be ignored.

According to the 2010 census, the United States has 309 million people—more than three times the 1910 census. The voice of ordinary Americans has been reduced to a whisper in Washington, drowned out by the sound of money.

One simple change to Congress can restore our democracy—the first step toward cleaning up the mess our national government has become. The 2Y2D Plan would set the size of each congressional district at 100,000 people. That's it. The whole plan.

A 2Y2D House will contain 3,094 elected representatives. It will be dynamic, growing and shifting with the population, and not all that earth shaking when you consider that in addition to the 435 representatives, today's House employs 10,000 staff members.

The plan is drawn from the very first page (Article I, Section 2) of our Constitution. It's not some scheme for an “ideal” government. Rather, it's a workable response to an existing problem—a government gone off the rails. It will enable us to put the country back on track quickly and with a minimum of risk. We can replace the scoundrels in Washington with men and women we know well enough to trust.

In Federalist 55, James Madison writes that he expected there to be 400 representatives after 50 years. Nathaniel Gorham, who represented Massachusetts at the Constitutional Convention, reassured that state's ratifying convention the House would contain 1,400 to 1,500 members in 100 years. And yet, today, 226 years later, we have a paltry 435.