House Passes Blue Dog-Backed Redistricting Reform Measure
WASHINGTON – A Blue Dog Coalition-backed redistricting reform measure is among the key provisions of the H.R 1, For the People Act bill passed by the House Wednesday night.
The language in the bill closely tracks what Rep. Jim Cooper, D-Tenn., included in his John Tanner Fairness and Independence in Redistricting Act, which eliminates partisan gerrymandering from the congressional redistricting process by requiring each state to establish an independent, bipartisan redistricting commission.
In addition, it directs that as the independent commission redraws congressional district lines once every 10 years, its work reflect contiguous communities.
The legislation is named after former Rep. John Tanner, a founding member of the Blue Dog Coalition who championed this legislation for many years leading up to his retirement in 2010.
In addition to the John Tanner Fairness and Independence in Redistricting Act, the Blue Dog Coalition has endorsed Cooper’s Redistricting Transparency Act, which would require states to publicize redistricting information online, including the data used in the process, details of the process, proposed maps and public hearing dates.
It also would require that the public be allowed to comment before maps receive final approval.
Both measures have been a longstanding priority of the Blue Dogs during times of both Democratic and Republican majorities in Congress.
“For too long, partisan gerrymandering has fueled hyper-partisanship in our politics, and, in turn, has caused much of the dysfunction we see in Congress,” said Rep. Tom O’Halleran, D-Ariz., the Blue Dog Coalition’s co-chair for Communications.
“Establishing independent redistricting commissions has proven to work in several states already, and it ensures the American people are accurately represented in Congress. We are glad to see that the House has taken a significant step to give the power back to the American people rather than leaving it up to political parties to draw the lines of representation,” he said.
For his part, Rep. Cooper, said “legislating is a team sport and I’m glad to have my colleagues’ support of these two reform bills.
“Voters should always choose their elected officials, not the other way around. H.R. 1 is a step in the right direction,” he added.
In The News
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden wants Congress to know he's sincere about cutting a deal on infrastructure, but Republican lawmakers have deep-seated doubts about the scope of his proposed package, its tax hikes and Biden's premise that this is an inflection point for the U.S.... Read More
WASHINGTON - The House Ethics Committee has opened an investigation into the recent flood of allegations against Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., including that he broke sex trafficking laws, shared graphic images of women with lawmakers on the House floor, and misused campaign funds. In a brief... Read More
WASHINGTON - President Joe Biden unveiled a $1.5 trillion budget proposal for the 2022 fiscal year, that among other things, includes a 16% increase in non-defense spending. In his first budget proposal as president, Biden is asking Congress for $753 billion for the Defense Department and... Read More
WASHINGTON - Rep. Alcee Hastings, the dean of Florida’s congressional delegation, died Tuesday after a battle with pancreatic cancer. He was 84. Hastings announced his cancer diagnosis just over two years ago, but he continued to press on with his work until near the very end... Read More
WASHINGTON (AP) — Republicans in Congress are making the politically brazen bet that it's more advantageous to oppose President Joe Biden's ambitious rebuild America agenda than to lend support for the costly $2.3 trillion undertaking for roads, bridges and other infrastructure investments. Much the way Republicans... Read More
WASHINGTON -- Virginia’s plan for a $3.7 billion passenger rail expansion was revolutionary on Tuesday when the governor announced it but later in the week looked like the tip of the iceberg. The next day, President Joe Biden presented his plan for $2.2 trillion in infrastructure improvements,... Read More