Republicans try to tighten their grip on Texas after redistribution card approved | Texas

Republicans decided to tighten their grip on power in Texas after a late-night vote in the state legislature approved early approval of the new congressional boundaries at the expense of communities of color.

The Republican-led effort will give the party power over the redrawn maps of the US House and strengthen its eroded dominance in Texas, whose demographics are becoming less white in a shift most pundits see as favoring Democrats. .

The redesigned congressional districts would make it easier for many incumbent Republicans to retain their seats, but critics say they also threaten the political influence of black and Hispanic communities.

The district map contained in Senate Bill 6 is expected to bolster the number of Republicans in the state’s delegation in Washington, from the current division of 23-13 in favor of Republicans to a 24-14 advantage or 25-13, according to the Austin American-Statesman.

Republicans say the districts, which were drawn by the Texas State Senate, have adhered to federal suffrage law.

Texas Democrats opposed the proposed districts, arguing Republicans had failed to respect or reflect the surge in Latin American, black and Asian populations who make up more than half of the nearly 4 million new Texans during of the last decade. The increase gave Texas two seats in Congress last year.

“This card is a bad card,” said Democratic Representative Chris Turner of Grand Prairie, a city in Dallas County. “This is a map that does not reflect that the phenomenal growth in our state is attributable 95% to Texans of color. This gives the two new districts that Texas received from the Anglos.

Another Dallas-area Democrat, Rafael Anchía, said SB 6 would increase Anglo-Saxon majority districts from 22 to 23, while districts where Hispanics make up the majority of voters would be reduced from 8 to 7. Le the state’s only black-majority district would disappear.

“It doesn’t work morally, it doesn’t work mathematically, and it shouldn’t work in redistribution,” Anchía told the Austin American-Statesman newspaper.

But Houston Senator Joan Huffman, the Republican author of SB 6, said she created a “race blind” redistribution plan that meets the requirements of the voting rights law.

The redistribution cards are still the subject of final negotiations between the upper and lower houses in Texas before being sent to Gov. Greg Abbott, a Republican, who is expected to sign them.

The measures are expected to spark legal challenges by Democrats and voting rights advocates in what could be another large-scale, high-stakes legal battle that has already made Texas the center of abortion rights battles. and immigration.

The Republicans, who control both chambers, have almost complete control over the map-making process and work from maps that the courts have already ruled as tilted, or gerrymandered, in their favor.

Representative Van Taylor, for example, whose suburban Dallas neighborhood opted for Donald Trump by just one percentage point last year. According to the new cards, the Associated Press reports, Trump would have won the district in double digits.

Michael McCaul, representative of the 10th congressional district of Texas, which stretches from Austin to Houston, could now represent a strongly pro-Trump district, after the exurbs withdraw from Houston.

In addition, the district stretching from the Rio Grande Valley to San Antonio that President Joe Biden won by just over 2% would now lean slightly towards Trump voters.

But some outgoing Democrats also gained advantages by changing the setup that placed two African-American Democratic representatives, Sheila Jackson Lee and U.S. Representative Al Green, in the same Harris County district. Another Democratic amendment returned Fort Bliss to the district based near El Paso.

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