Missouri House rejects congressional map as standoff worsens

Mar 31, 2022, 12:16 PM | Updated: 2:33 pm

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Missouri House on Thursday overwhelmingly defeated a congressional redistricting plan passed by the state Senate, intensifying a standoff that could eventually force the courts to intervene to draw new voting districts.

Although Missouri has large Republican majorities in both legislative chambers, a conservative coalition has split with GOP leaders over how aggressively to gerrymander district lines to their favor. Turf wars also have erupted over which communities to split up in order to equalize the population among all eight districts.

Missouri is the only state that has not either enacted or at least passed a new U.S. House map after the 2020 census, though uncertainty also remains in Florida because of a gubernatorial veto and in other states due to court challenges. Louisiana’s Republican-led Legislature on Wednesday overrode a veto by its Democratic governor and enacted new congressional districts.

Republicans currently hold six of Missouri’s eight U.S. House seats, with Democrats representing districts based in St. Louis and Kansas City. Though some conservatives had pushed for a map that could give the GOP a shot at winning seven seats, the state House and Senate each passed different versions of maps projected to continue the GOP’s 6-2 edge.

The Senate version has a slightly stronger Republican bent than the House version in the only politically competitive seat, the 2nd District held by Republican Rep. Ann Wagner. But the Senate map stretches Wagner’s suburban St. Louis district south into rural counties and splits the Democratic-leaning city of Columbia — home of the University of Missouri — amid two largely rural Republican districts. State House members complained that the Senate version didn’t adequately keep communities of interest intact.

The House voted 129-26 to reject the Senate map, then requested that the Senate grant a conference to try to work out their differences.

“This is a vote to continue the process, to continue discussion for the best possible map for all of Missouri,” said Republican state Rep. Dan Shaul, chair of the House Redistricting Committee.

The Senate already had rejected one conference request before Thursday’s vote. Though Senate GOP leaders expressed a willingness for a joint conference committee, one of the chamber’s most vocal conservatives and its Democratic leader both said further talks would be pointless.

“The House vote today was a vote for the liberal activist courts to draw the map,” said Republican Sen. Bob Onder. He declared: “We’re not going to conference.”

Senate Minority Leader John Rizzo said the map that already passed the Senate is the most realistic option.

“At this point, if there was a unicorn map out there to make everyone happy, it would have reared its head,” he said.

A lawsuit has been filed on behalf of Missouri voters by Democratic attorneys asking a court to intervene in the stalled redistricting process and draw new U.S. House districts that can be used in this year’s elections. But no hearing has been scheduled.

Tuesday was the deadline for candidates to file to run in Missouri’s August primary. A total of 68 people signed up for specific House districts, even though they weren’t sure of the eventual boundaries.

If lawmakers were to pass new congressional districts before the mid-May end of their legislative session, they could change state law to temporarily re-open the candidate filing period.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

A Ukrainian serviceman sits on a T-80 tank that they claimed had been captured from the Russian arm...
Associated Press

Ukrainian troops claim gains in Russia-annexed region

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Ukrainian troops pushed forward Monday with their offensive that has embarrassed Moscow, with Kyiv officials and foreign observers hinting at new gains in the strategic southern region of Kherson that the Kremlin wants to annex. Kherson has been one of the toughest battlefields for the Ukrainians, with slower progress when compared […]
5 hours ago
Associated Press

Poland demands $1.3 trillion in war damages from Germany

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Poland’s foreign minister on Monday signed an official note to Germany requesting the payment of some $1.3 trillion in reparations for the damage incurred by occupying Nazi Germans during World War II. Zbigniew Rau said the note will be handed to Germany’s Foreign Ministry. The signing comes on the eve of […]
5 hours ago
Google's web address, is displayed on a screen in Philadelphia, April 26, 2017. Google has disconti...
Associated Press

Google discontinues Google Translate in mainland China

HONG KONG (AP) — Google has discontinued its Google Translate services in mainland China, removing one of the company’s few remaining services that it had provided in a country where most Western social media platforms are blocked. The Google Translate app and website now display a generic search bar and a link redirecting Chinese users […]
5 hours ago
Associated Press

Kimberly Palmer: How to handle your medical bills

When she was 19, writer Emily Maloney found herself facing about $50,000 in medical debt after hospital treatment for a mental health crisis. The debt followed her throughout her twenties, hurting her credit and leading to stressful calls from collection agencies. Her experience is all too common: The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau reports that about […]
5 hours ago
Associated Press

Jerzy Urban, spokesman for Polish communist govt, dies at 89

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Jerzy Urban, a spokesman for Poland’s communist-era government in the 1980s who masterminded state propaganda and censorship for a regime in the final years before its collapse, has died. He was 89. His death was announced on Monday by a satirical weekly magazine, Nie (No), which he founded and led in […]
5 hours ago
A shadow is cast on the stage of the Trafo House of Contemporary Arts while technicians set up the ...
Associated Press

Music stops: Energy costs close Hungary theaters for winter

BUDAPEST, Hungary (AP) — A theater in Hungary’s capital will sit through a cold and quiet winter after its managers chose to shut it down rather than pay skyrocketing utility prices that are putting a squeeze on businesses and cultural institutions across Europe. The 111-year-old Erkel Theatre in Budapest, one of three performance spaces of […]
5 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Children’s Cancer Network

Children’s Cancer Network celebrates cancer-fighting superheroes, raises funds during September’s Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

Jace Hyduchak was like most other kids in his kindergarten class: He loved to play basketball, dress up like his favorite superheroes and jump as high as his pint-sized body would take him on his backyard trampoline.
...
SCHWARTZ LASER EYE CENTER

Key dates for Arizona sports fans to look forward to this fall

Fall brings new beginnings in different ways for Arizona’s professional sports teams like the Cardinals and Coyotes.
...
Sanderson Ford

Don’t let rising fuel prices stop you from traveling Arizona this summer

There's no better time to get out on the open road and see what the beautiful state of Arizona has to offer. But if the cost of gas is putting a cloud over your summer vacation plans, let Sanderson Ford help with their wide-range selection of electric vehicles.
Missouri House rejects congressional map as standoff worsens