SALT LAKE CITY – Utah lawmakers gathered in a special session Monday to consider a map that creates a fourth congressional seat and would require new elections in all districts if Congress agrees to expand the size of the House.
The new district would be part of a compromise that would also grant the District of Columbia a voting member in the House. Nothing will happen, however, unless Congress passes a bill and President Bush makes it law.
Utah's new district would run along the western edge of the state and include Tooele, Juab, Millard, Beaver, Iron and Washington counties.
The 2nd District would be mostly urban and include Salt Lake City, the home of U.S. Rep. Jim Matheson, a Democrat. The 1st and 3rd districts would also look different while still being friendly for Republicans.
But some lawmakers said they want to change the map that emerged from a House-Senate committee last week. A recess was called shortly before noon for private talks.
Sen. Michael Waddoups, R-Taylorsville, said he wants everyone in his city to be in the proposed 4th District instead of putting some residents in the 2nd.
Rep. Ben Ferry, R-Corrine, said he would like to see a better mix of rural and urban residents in each district.
Under the committee's map, three districts each would have 558,292 residents and another would have an additional person.
Some opponents pledged to vote against any map, saying a deal that puts the District of Columbia on par with the states violates the U.S. Constitution.