With Donald Trump being the presumptive nominee for the Republican Party, some Republicans have all but defected from the party. From Mitt Romney joining the #NeverTrump team to Marco Rubio stating he will not attend the GOP convention, prominent Republicans have made their feelings clear about Trump being the party’s standard bearer. However, anti-Trump Republicans are taking one last shot at a coup next week. Anti-Trump delegates are going to attempt a change in voting procedure for the position of Vice President.
As reported by Buzzfeed News, some Republicans will present to the Rules Committee a proposed bylaw change of Rule 40. Some of the proposed changes include:
- Deleting the clause in rule 40(a) which says that if there is only one candidate for VP, a “a motion to nominate for such office by acclamation shall be in order and no calling of the roll with respect to such office shall be required.”
- Adding a clause in rule 40(b) that would require the candidate for the VP nomination to have support from a majority of delegates from three or more states — a lower threshhold than eight.
- Attempting to minimize the amount of influence the presidential nominee has in this process, by adding the following sentence: “The preference of any candidate seeking nomination for president of the United States shall have no bearing upon the submission of names for nomination for vice president of the United States nor the recording of votes for the same.”
- Adding a new clause that calls for multiple rounds of voting if a VP candidate doesn’t reach ⅔ on the first round: “If no vice- presidential candidate shall have received a two-thirds in the first round of balloting, the chairman of the convention shall direct the roll of the states be called again and shall repeat the calling of the roll until a candidate shall have received a majority of the votes entitled to be cast in the convention in the subsequent roll of the states.”
It is important to note that Rule 40 is considered to be a temporary rule and that, unlike when delegates vote for the presidential nominee, delegates may vote for whomever they choose when voting for the position of Vice President. This means that delegates who were bound to Trump, or delegates who were required to vote for Trump during the presidential nomination voting, but who disagree with his nomination for Vice President can vote against it. This is particularly important given that Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, a retired general and registered Democrat, is being vetted to be Trump’s running mate. While some Republicans may be inclined to vote for Trump, many may be less inclined to put a Democrat on the ticket, if Flynn is who Trump proposes.
In short, if this rule change is passed by the Rules Committee before the Convention, which begins on July 18th, it would limit the president’s power in regards to nominating the Vice President and would allow delegates more power in choosing who the party’s Vice Presidential nominee is. Even if anti-Trump Republicans are against Trump they may be more inclined to lobby on behalf of a ticket with a Vice President who they favor.