Texas House OKS New Congressional Map

The Texas House on Friday approved a new congressional map that would put the delegation in Republican control.

The Senate was expected to vote later Friday on the map, which would add as many as seven Republicans to Texas' congressional delegation. Democrats currently have a 17-15 advantage.

If both chambers approve the plan, it would end a six-month battle that sparked three special legislative sessions, two walkouts by Democrats and GOP infighting.

Republicans contend that voting trends show Texas should have more GOP members of Congress. But Democrats wanted existing congressional district lines to stay in place, saying minorities and rural Texans would lose representation under the new map.

Democrats boycotted the Texas Legislature (search) twice this year to block a quorum and kill redistricting bills. The Democratic senators returned only after one of their own group defected, giving Republicans the quorum they wanted.

The Republican infighting that followed over how to draw the lines meant the Legislature did not change the boundaries soon enough for the state to conduct presidential primaries March 2. The House voted Friday to move the primary date back to March 9.