Efforts to approve new Congressional districts to comply with the 2010 Census are at a standstill as the House and Senate seem to be experiencing a bit of a communication problem.
House members approved their map. The Senate changed it and sent it back.
Rep. John Diehl (R-Town and Country), chairman of the House redistricting committee, told colleagues he doesn’t want to accept the Senate version.
“So, I think the best course of action right now is for us to go to conference to see if we can try to work out any of our differences with the Senate,” Diehl stated in asking the House to request negotiations with the Senate, which the House approved.
There was a problem, though. The Senate never answered a message sent by the House, requesting a conference committee.
Rep. Chris Kelly (D-Columbia) applauded leadership’s response: refusing to budge until the Senate meets with the House on redistricting.
“What you and the Speaker and the Minority Leader are doing here is very important, because if we allowed the Senate to steamroll over us on important issues like this, then this body will lose its representative capacity,” Kelly told House Majority Leader Tim Jones (R-Eureka).
Jones has canceled Monday’s floor session in the House, saying there is nothing vital to do.
“If the Senate had responded to our request on the redistricting map, we would very likely have had something to do on Monday,” Jones told reporters after the legislative week ended, “but they have not.”
For now, the issue is up in the air until the two chambers begin talking to each other again.