New political boundaries designed to add a seventh Democrat to the state's congressional delegation glided though the Maryland House of Delegates Wednesday, overcoming unified opposition from the Republican caucus and ire from suburban Washington Democrats.
The House passed Gov. Martin O'Malley redistricting plan Wednesday, which shifts the majority of Laurel from House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer's 5th District to the 4th District, currently represented by Democrat Donna Edwards.
Maryland's proposed new congressional districts feature some odd pairings: farms mixed with suburbs, city centers combined with small towns and deeply conservative areas tied to staunchly liberal enclaves.
Gov. Martin O'Malley released his congressional redistricting plan Saturday evening, hours after a handful of African-American lawmakers walked out of a Legislative Black Caucus meeting and prevented the group from taking an official position on an earlier draft.
Maryland Republicans on Tuesday criticized a proposal to redraw the state's congressional map, saying a Democratic-controlled panel seeking to bolster the party's position would separate communities with like-minded views and fuse areas with little in common.
Maryland groups are raising legal questions about the state's proposal to redraw congressional districts, though national experts note the threshold for bringing a successful lawsuit over new maps is quite high.
For Sen. Benjamin L. Cardin and other liberal Democrats in the Senate who are up for election next year, the decision Tuesday to vote for the compromise to raise the nation's debt ceiling was grueling. But unlike in the House, a majority of Senate Democrats backed the deal.
Reflecting the difficulty members across the country faced over the bipartisan proposal to raise the debt ceiling, Maryland's lawmakers split their support — though not along party lines — in a landmark vote Monday.