Florida’s House passed a congressional map on Thursday after being forced into a brief informal recess as Democrats, led by the state’s House Black Caucus, stormed the floor in protest of the map.
Republicans ultimately passed the legislation 68–38 while Democrats protested, sending it to Gov. Ron DeSantis’s desk, where he is expected to sign it into law, likely netting the GOP four congressional seats in the midterm elections.
“We’re being told on the House Floor that we can’t use the racist history of our nation as a reason why you should vote no on the maps because it might impugn colleagues who are voting yes. It might feel uncomfortable for some, but history is relevant when it’s repeating itself,” tweeted state Rep. Anna Eskamani.
Democrats refused to yield time during a Thursday debate on the new maps while state Reps. Angie Nixon and Travaris McCurdy led the protest. Representatives sang “We Shall Overcome,” an anthem for the civil rights movement.
Democrats disrupt Florida House redistricting vote with song and prayer pic.twitter.com/njj0y0Vr5D
— james call (@CallTallahassee) April 21, 2022
During their protest, Democrats contended the map would dilute the power of black voters in the 5th and 10th congressional districts. If passed, the map is widely expected to expand Republicans’ current 16-11 congressional advantage to 20–8.
Some Republican lawmakers responded to the protest by briefly leaving the chamber in frustration before returning to finish the vote. One Republican lawmaker, Spencer Roach, accused the state Democrats of engaging in an “insurrection on the House floor to obstruct the democratic process.”
Thursday’s vote comes on the heels of the map, which was backed by DeSantis, clearing the state Senate on Wednesday.
Florida lawmakers are currently in a special legislative session, which is expected to last until Friday, with the goal of passing a new congressional map into law. The special session came after DeSantis vetoed a map that state Republicans sent him last month. State Republicans had been ensnared in an internal battle for the past several months over how aggressive they should be on redistricting, but that came to an apparent end last week when the legislature effectively surrendered to DeSantis.
Democrats have signaled their intent to challenge the map in court if it becomes law. Florida is currently one of three states without a legally binding congressional map, alongside New Hampshire and Missouri.
Why are the left’s protests always so lame?
Author: Robert Bogart