The Missouri Senate is taking a timeout on a Congressional redistricting proposal – for now.
Senate leadership posted a statement on Twitter saying business critical to Missourians has been delayed “by a small group of senators willing to send the congressional map to federal courts if they do not get districts that suit their ambition.”
“To further complicate the Senate’s task, in the last 48 hours the Missouri congressional delegation has engaged with members of the Senate over redistricting. For the time being, we will step away from this debate on the senate floor. It is my hope that the congressional delegation will work to unify rather than divide, and be part of the solution and not just add to the problem. It is past time for everyone involved to put the best interest of the state above their own political ambition,” the statement said.
The upper chamber has been working on the measure on and off since Monday at 5 p.m. Most state Senators support six likely Republican Congressional strongholds and 2 likely Democratic districts. Six to eight members of the Conservative Caucus have been blocking passage of the bill in an attempt to fight for seven likely Republican districts.
One of those members is State Sen. Bob Onder, R-Lake St. Louis.
“If Senator Rowden is not up for the job of Majority Floor Leader, he should resign. Sen Rowden’s statement is offensive,” Onder said on Twitter. “The ‘group of senators’ to which he refers has refused to give away one to two congressional seats to progressives and Nancy Pelosi. He also blames our GOP Congressional delegation. In other words, it’s everyone’s fault but his own.”
On the Senate floor today, State Sen. Denny Hoskins, R-Warrensburg, a member of the Conservative Caucus disagreed with a 7-1 Congressional map losing in court.
“When I hear comments about, ‘Oh, we can’t do 7-1, it might end up with the courts.’ Okay, show me where in the Constitution it doesn’t say that we can’t have a 7-1. It doesn’t. The Constitution says three things: basically comply with the Voting Rights Act, which we have in Congressional District One for a majority minority district, and then make sure the districts are compact and contiguous,” said Hoskins.
He said he’s not ready to give up the fight.
“We must play hardball here in the state of Missouri as well,” said Hoskins. “I’ve got a lot of good friends on both sides of the aisle but this is hardball politics and we here in Missouri have to do everything we can to send as many Republicans to Congress that we can.”
Candidates running for office in Missouri can file beginning February 22. Congressional candidates are awaiting details about what their districts will look like.
Missouri redraws its Congressional and legislative districts every ten years after getting Census data.
To view House Bill 2117, click here.
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