Could More Representatives Help Congressional Gridlock?

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The U.S. Capitol is seen as Congress convenes to negotiate a legislative path to avoid the so-called "fiscal cliff" of automatic tax increases and deep spending cuts that could kick in Jan. 1., 2013.  (AP/J. Scott Applewhite)
(J. Scott Applewhite/AP)

We recently spoke with former Republican Congressman Mickey Edwards, who had some ideas about how to fix the gridlock in Washington:

  • Hand over redistricting to independent boards
  • Change primaries so that they function as endorsements, so the primary would not determine who gets on the ballot
  • Limit political donations to individuals

After that conversation we got an email from listener Roberta Palmer, who suggested increasing the size of the House — so that a representative is responsible for fewer constituents — and increasing House term limits from two years to four years, to end the process of an unending campaign.

We run the ideas by Stanford professor Jack Rakove.


  • Jack Rakove, the William Robertson Coe professor of History and American Studies and professor of political science at Stanford University.

This segment aired on October 22, 2013.


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