On Monday, the Census Bureau released the apportionment results for the 2020 census. A census occurs every ten years, and the results and populations of each state determine how many congressional seats are allotted to each state. Here is the breakdown of states that will be gaining and losing congressional seats in the House. Texas will gain two seats, five states will gain one seat, and seven states will lose one seat:
+ 2 Seats: Texas
+ 1 Seat: Colorado, Florida, Montana, North Carolina, and Oregon
– 1 Seat: California, Illinois, Michigan, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia
The rest of the states’ number of seats will remain the same. With Democrats currently having a narrow majority in the House of Representatives, redistricting alone could change who is the Speaker of the House. Here are a few facts about the size of the House:
- The average number of constituents one House seat represents is 760,000 people. Some districts may have fewer people because states like Wyoming, according to the Constitution, are allotted a minimum of one congressional seat.
- Federal law establishes the number of seats in the House of Representatives. The Constitution only established the number of seats for Congress initially as the country was established. The number of seats expanded over the years until 1929 when Congress permanently capped the size of the House at 435 members through the Permanent Apportionment Act.
- The size of the House of Representatives also determines the electoral college. The electoral college is the number of votes in the House (435), plus the Senate (100), and the District of Columbia is allotted three votes, amounting to 538 votes in total.
Because federal law is the only thing preventing a change in the number of seats, it’s important that conservatives pay attention to how Democrat leaders could add increasing the size of the House to their agenda. On the surface, the proposal may not seem significant, but there are ways to potentially choose a particular number of seats to increase the number of Republican seats and drastically increase the number of Democrat seats, as well as reshape the electoral college.
H.R.1 strips the ability of elected state legislatures to draw district lines and instead gives that power to unelected commissions, which have tended to skew power towards Democrats. Together, an increased number of House seats, combined with forcing states to have unelected commissions draw district lines, could have an immense impact on the party breakdown of seats.
While Democrats have not proposed a bill to expand the number of seats in the House, conservatives should prepare for this potential fight. There are already Democrats suggesting that the current size of the House was established by a racist and nativist congressional decision over 90 years ago.
Thank you for all the work you are doing to secure our elections,
Posted by Christina Williams, Pasquotank County Heritage Action Sentinel