Who represents you in Congress could change in the next election. The House prepares to vote today on new boundaries for our eight Congressional districts.
A House committee has tweaked its initial proposal ever so slightly and approved it, sending it to the full House for debate, likely today.
“It’s difficult to predict what’s going to happen on the floor,” Rep. John Diehl, chairman of the House Special Standing Committee on Redistricting, tells reporters after his committee approved a map to send to the full House for debate. “But I think it’s one of those things where we’ve given our committee members ample opportunity to have input into the process and I think everybody thinks they’ve been treated fairly; that this is a fair map. So, I would expect to pick up broad consensus on the floor.”
Diehl, a Republican from Town and Country, sponsors a map that reduces the congressional delegation in the greater St. Louis area from three to two and creates a new 3rd District, a squat version of the current 9th that extends farther into the St. Louis area than currently. The 4th shifts a bit. The 5th juts out from Kansas City to take in three western rural counties. The 6th covers the northern third of the state. The 7th and 8th Districts change the least of any.
A map submitted by Democrat Ron Casey of Crystal City failed to win approval in committee. It sought to keep Jefferson County in one congressional district and re-shape the districts in the Kansas City area. Casey also submitted an amendment that would consolidate the 5th Congressional District in the Kansas City metro area, but it failed as well. Suggested changes by Jacob Turk, a candidate in the 5th Congressional District, and Cole County Presiding Commissioner Marc Ellinger received no support from committee members.
House Democrats are expected to offer an amendment during House floor debate that would shift boundaries to keep Congressman Russ Carnahan, a Democrat, in St. Louis. It is expected to fail since Republicans hold a strong majority in the House.
Diehl believes the map approved by the committee and heading to the House floor will attract enough votes to withstand a governor’s veto and, perhaps, keep out of the courts.
“There are a lot more people involved in that than me,” Diehl respond when ask about possible court challenges. “I think we’ll get it out of the House and we’ll get it out of the House with very good margins.”
Awaiting in the Senate is a map with much the same philosophy, but slightly different lines.
Click here to view the map.