Freshman Rep. Stephen Fincher's 8th district would get more Republican under a draft Tennessee redistricting map released today.
A draft Congressional redistricting plan released today by the Tennessee Legislature solidifies the partisan makeup of the Volunteer State's Congressional delegation.
The map includes seven solidly Republican districts and two comfortably Democratic districts, anchored in Memphis and Nashville. Earlier speculation in the state was that Republicans, who control both chambers of the Legislature and the governor's mansion, might try to draw a map with eight Republican seats. But both Democratic-held districts remain intact in this proposal.
"My Congressional district looks good, better than I expected," longtime Rep. Jim Cooper (D) told Roll Call. "There's less gerrymandering in this map and they seem to have done a responsible job," he said, noting that Nashville is fully in one district under the proposed lines.
The Memphis-based 9th district, held by Rep. Steve Cohen (D), remains heavily Democratic even with the addition of almost 100,000 residents. "It'll be good for me," Cohen said in a short interview. "Overall, it's a good day."
The draft map remains in committee, but could be passed by the state House as early as next week. It is unclear when it might pass the state Senate.
Among the Republican-held seats, freshman Rep. Stephen Fincher's 8th district was shored up in the draft map, becoming dramatically more Republican. Rep. Marsha Blackburn's 7th district grows slightly less Republican under the proposed lines, but remains a safe GOP district.
Leaders from military and veterans service organizations joined Sens. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., Kelly Ayotte , R-N.H., and Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., at a press conference to urge the Senate to replace a provision in the budget proposal that cuts retirement benefits for veterans. Wicker, Ayotee, and Graham earlier called for a bipartisan solution to replace the $6.3 billion in cuts to military retiree benefits.
Each year since 1990, CQ Roll Call has reviewed the financial disclosures of all 541 senators, representatives and delegates to determine the 50 richest members of Congress. This year's report, derived from forms covering the calendar year 2012, shows it took a net worth of $6.67 million to crack the exclusive club.