Republican efforts to improve their position in the Georgia General Assembly’s special session convened earlier this month to draw new congressional district boundaries have reportedly bogged down.
The GOP has a majority in both the Georgia House of Representatives and the Georgia State Senate, and sources familiar with the process tell Breitbart News moderates who want to “play nice” with Democrats have temporarily taken the upper hand over conservatives who want to press the GOP advantage.
The Constitution requires that state legislatures redraw the boundaries for congressional and state legislative districts after every U.S. Census, which takes place every ten years. The final details of the 2020 U.S. Census were released earlier this year, and state legislatures around the country are currently in the process of redrawing those legislative district boundaries.
The Georgia General Assembly convened in a special session on November 3 to prepare final redistricting maps for new boundaries for congressional districts and state legislative districts.
On November 2, the day before the special session, Republicans on the State Senate Reapportionment and Redistricting Committee released draft maps for state legislative districts in the State Senate and State House.
On September 27, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported, “Republicans who hold a majority in the Georgia Senate released the first draft map for new congressional districts Monday, a proposal that shifts political borders and would help the GOP gain a seat if approved.”
The map threatens Democratic U.S. Rep. Lucy McBath’s reelection chances by drawing more Republicans into the 6th District she has represented since 2019.
Democrats have picked up two congressional seats in Atlanta’s northern suburbs in the past two elections, and the Republican majority in the General Assembly was expected to try to win one back in redistricting by drawing more GOP areas into one of the districts.
The chairman of State Senate Reapportionment and Redistricting released a draft map on September 27, which can be seen here.
Georgia currently has 13 members of the U.S. House of Representatives. It is one of six states that will be gaining representation in the House due to its higher level of population growth in the past ten years, as the 2020 U.S. Census confirmed. In the current 117th Session of Congress there are eight Republicans and five Democrats in Georgia’s U.S. House delegation.
Sources tell Breitbart News the redistricting map now under consideration for the 2022 congressional districts, however, would end up very similar to where they are now, either nine Republicans to five Democrats or eight Republicans to six Democrats.
“Republicans are in complete control and can make a 10-4 map and send two new members to Congress,” a source familiar with the redistricting process told Breitbart News.
Members of the Georgia General Assembly contacted by Breitbart News chose not to offer any on-the-record comments until legislative committees release final draft maps for the proposed new boundaries for congressional districts.
But at least one source familiar with the behind the scenes negotiations has sounded an alarm bell for Republicans.
“Apparently, it wasn’t enough for Georgia Republicans to deliver the Senate to Chuck Schumer. Now they seem intent on helping Nancy Pelosi retain the Speakership,” a national GOP strategist told Breitbart News.
Democrats currently have a 221 to 213 advantage in the U.S. House of Representatives over Republicans, with one vacancy.
Fivethirtyeight.com reported that Georgia Democrats have no qualms in pushing for congressional redistricting that gives them a partisan advantage over the current eight to five Republican to Democrat congressional district status. A proposal they set forward last month would likely create “seven safe Republican seats, six safe Democratic seats and one competitive seat in the Atlanta suburbs.”:
On Oct. 21, Democrats in Georgia’s state legislature released a proposed congressional map that would open the door to Democrats winning half of the state’s 14 congressional districts, compared to the six they currently hold. The map would create seven safe Republican seats, six safe Democratic seats and one competitive seat in the Atlanta suburbs. However, Republicans have full control of the redistricting process in the state, so the Democratic proposal is mostly a symbolic statement about the political competitiveness of Georgia, which backed President Biden in the 2020 election and elected two Democratic senators in two runoff elections in January.
Besides the topline partisan shift, arguably the most significant part of the Democratic proposal is that it would move the 10th District from the eastern part of the state to the Atlanta area. As a result, Georgia would have six districts that are majority nonwhite, compared to five on the current map — which is preserved in the initial draft Republican proposal, too.
As in other states where Republicans control both houses of the state legislature, sources tell Breitbart News Republicans are very concerned that any new congressional districts that create a partisan advantage for Republicans will be challenged in court by Democrats.