Virginia Speaker of the House William J. Howell (R-Stafford) broke with his own party on Wednesday, using a procedural ruling to stop the Republican-sponsored redistricting plan.

The plan might have had a chance of passing the Virginia House if it made it to the floor for a vote, but Howell quashed the bill, clearing the way for the House to concentrate on Gov. Bob McDonnell's transportation plan, The Washington Post reported.

State Sen. Dave Marsden was vocal in his opposition to the bill passed by the Senate the day President Obama was taking the ceremonial oath of office, in an interview with Patch calling it a "sad day for the Commonwealth."