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Texas Redistricting Delayed Again

October 11, 2003

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) _ Attempts to approve a new congressional map of Texas were thwarted yet again Friday, but this time both Democrats and Republicans were absent when it came time to vote.

Although the House passed a compromise bill on the redistricting plan earlier in the day, Senate Republicans refused to vote on it until the House passed an unrelated bill.

By the time that government reorganization bill came up for a vote, House Democrats and a few Republicans were missing.

Lacking a quorum to conduct business, Republican House Speaker Tom Craddick ordered that the missing lawmakers return to the Capitol, but the House ultimately adjourned until Sunday afternoon.

Republicans have been trying for six months to pass a new congressional redistricting plan, an issue that sparked three special legislative sessions, two walkouts by Democrats and infighting among Republicans.

The redistricting is expected to add more GOP seats to the state’s congressional delegation, where Democrats currently have a 17-15 advantage. Democrats wanted existing congressional district lines to stay in place, saying minorities and rural Texans would lose representation under the new map.

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