Missouri legislature demands California
return missing congressional districts
Missouri legislators, accustomed to making demands on the federal government, are taking the unique step of demanding the state of California return Missouri’s congressional districts. California has 53 congressional seats now. Missouri has eight. In 1930, Missouri had 16 members of Congress. California had only 11. The disappearance of many of Missouri’s congressional seats has been tied by some lawmakers to Missouri’s purported lack of economic advancement.
The House has approved a a resolution making the demand and has sent it to the Senate. The amendment asserts that Missouri, the U. S. Constitution notwithstanding, has the right to demand congressional districts from other states as a matter of economic necessity. Approval by the Missouri Senate puts the issue on the November ballot.
House members arguing for the resolution say the legislature might have to reduce taxes if California does not return the districts. “I’m prepared to reduce taxes as far as necessary next year to get those districts back here if they are not returned voluntarily, ” said sponsor Dunklin Pemiscot (R-Bootheel).
Efforts to amend the bill to require Texas and Florida also to return congressional seats were defeated on close voice votes. Florida had only four seats in 1930; now it has 27. Texas had 18 delegates then, 36 now. “Texas has doubled its Congressional representation while Missouri’s delegation has been cut in half,” complained Representative Leroy Furd (R-Left Elbow) as he agued tor demanding districts from Texas. “It’s pretty clear to me where Texas got them.”
Opponents of the proposal to demand districts from Florida argued the demand would be counterproductive. “If we take districts away from Florida,” said Rep. Minne Sludge (D-West Elkhurst), “We’ll be robbing thousands of Missourians their congressional representation four months of the year.”
The loss of congressional districts has often been cited by legislators justifying tax cuts, most recently when Sen. Lee Summit (R-Westjack) told colleagues as he argued for passage of his 49th version of his tax reduction proposal, “Missouri continues to fall further behind other states…Our Congressional delegation has been cut in half since the 1930s. In 1930 we had sixteen U. S. Congressmen. Today we have eight.”
Summit’s tax cut bill has been sent to the House where Pemiscot plans to add an amendment requiring California also to send 340 days of sunshine annually.
Governor Jayxon has issued a statement saying he has no interest in approving the tax cut bill unless the state’s tax credit system is reformed so Boeing will move the entire city of Seattle to Missouri.
Summit says he will continue to work with the Governor to find a suitable package Jayxon will approve.