The Washington Times - October 16, 2013, 08:06AM

Rep. Scott Rigell said the gerrymandering, or redrawing, of House districts has been harmful to both parties, and therefore the nation, because it insulates incumbents from viable political challengers.

“I really don’t think America is divided as this beautiful Capitol is, behind us,” Mr. Rigell, Virginia Republican, told C-SPAN at its studio near Capitol Hill.

SEE RELATED: House conservatives sabotage Boehner plan to end shutdown

Political observers have long complained that House districts are drawn in a way that gives lawmakers enough protection to dig into hardline positions, ultimately producing gridlock in Washington.

The issue has come up repeatedly during the current standoff over government spending and the nation’s debt, as lawmakers scramble to forge a last-minute deal to extend the nation’s borrowing authority before a Treasury-designated deadline on Thursday.

One credit ratings agency, Fitch, delivered a warning shot on Tuesday by saying political instability puts America’s at risk of a downgrade.