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Obama: Gerrymandering stokes gridlock in Congress

Obama: Gerrymandering stokes gridlock in Congress
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President Obama blames gerrymandering for exacerbating political partisanship in Washington and blocking some of his top agenda items. 
 
“I think political gerrymandering has resulted in a situation ... with 80 percent Democratic districts or 80 percent Republican districts and no competition ... that leads to more and more polarization in Congress, and it gets harder and harder to get things done,” he said in an interview with NPR published Monday.
 
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Obama also took aim at two other familiar targets for poisoning the political environment: the filibuster in the Senate and the influence of super-PACs, which allow “a handful of billionaires to dictate who can compete or not compete ... in a Republican primary.”
 
Republicans took control of the House in 2010, and in 2014 they expanded their majority to the largest it has been in almost nine decades. 
 
That has stymied Obama’s push for legislation on immigration, climate change and gun control. Instead, the president resorted to using executive actions to address those issues, further inflaming tensions with Congress. 
 
Obama previously singled out gerrymandering in 2013, telling The New Republic that his gun control push was halted in part because GOP members “may not feel compelled to pay attention to broad-based public opinion, because what they're really concerned about is the opinions of their specific Republican constituencies.”
 
Some political scientists have rejected Obama’s argument, pointing out there is little connection between a lawmakers’ ideology and the views of his or her constituents.