House Passes Blue Dog-Backed Redistricting Reform Measure
Mar 3, 2021
WASHINGTON—Today, the House passed a Blue Dog Coalition-backed redistricting reform measure as part of H.R 1, For the People Act. Included in H.R. 1 is language that is very similar to Rep. Jim Cooper’s 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 to redraw congressional district lines once every 10 years that reflect contiguous communities. The legislation is named after former Congressman 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 Rep. Jim 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 (AZ-01), 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.”
“Legislating is a team sport and I’m glad to have my colleagues’ support of these two reform bills,” said Rep. Jim Cooper (TN-05), a member of the Blue Dog Coalition. “Voters should always choose their elected officials, not the other way around. H.R. 1 is a step in the right direction.”