An updated draft of rules governing the election of the Republican’s freshman caucus leader — and eventual Speaker of the House — moves up the organizational meeting and stipulates a member found in violation of Republican conference rules would be ineligible for consideration.
Reps. Ralph Massullo and Michael Grant have been tasked with writing draft rules to help guide the freshman class’s decision-making process. While new rules approved by members this year banned any active speaker’s races until June 30, the draft election rules are meant to spell out how the freshman class would ultimately pick its leader.
The latest draft of rules states an organizational meeting shall be called for June 30, 2017, “at a time and location that will be determined.” An earlier draft of the rules called for the meeting to held on July 1.
The newest version also adds an extra layer when it comes to proxies. According to new provisions, caucus members may not be the proxy designate for more than one absent caucus member. That’s something the earlier draft of the rules was silent on.
But, perhaps the most notable change is the provision that outlines exactly who is eligible to become leader.
When it came to nominations, the earlier draft of rules only noted that nominations “shall be from the floor and must receive a first and a second to be a valid nomination. Members may be the first or second for their own nomination.”
New draft rules, however, go a step further.
According to the latest version of the rules, a caucus member would be ineligible to be nominated if the House Speaker declares the member in violation of House Republican Conference Rules.
Adopted last year, those rules state a “candidate for the office of Republican Leader-designate may not have directly or indirectly solicited or accepted a formal or informal pledge of support before June 30 of the year following the general election which the final members of their legislative class were elected.”
The conference rules go on to say a violation would render that candidate “ineligible to stand for election before the House Republican Conference as either the Republican Leader-designate or the Republican Leader.”
The addition of the provision comes just a week after POLITICO Florida reported Rep. Paul Renner held a meeting of House freshman Republicans to talk about his speaker’s bid.
Renner is one of several people widely believed to be in the running for House Speaker in 2022-24, and his meeting came after two separate dinners were held by groups opposed to his bid.