The Texas House has given final approval to a map that redraws the state's congressional districts in favor of Republicans. The 83 to 62 vote came early Tuesday morning, after more than nine hours of debate.
|Take a look at the current district map.|
|Take a look at the proposed district map.|
After bitterly opposing the measure for months, Democrats offered few amendments and even fewer objections. The map will now be sent to the Senate for consideration.
The map could increase the number of Texas Republicans in Congress to as many as 21, rather than the 15 currently in office. Republicans say the change is needed to reflect the state's increasingly GOP voting patterns.
A federal court drew Texas' congressional districts after state lawmakers failed to do so in 2001. That left open the possibility that the districts could be redrawn by the Texas Legislature.
Democrats say the G-O-P redistricting proposal would diminish the voting strength of blacks, Hispanics and other minorities and of rural Texans. Republicans dispute that and say they have put forth a fair map.
The Legislature is back in special session to consider redistricting after 51 Democratic House members fled to Ardmore, Oklahoma, in May to prevent consideration of the topic.