At roughly 1:45 p.m. Saturday, after voting 25-8 to keep the two-step process for allocating national delegates’ presidential preferences, the convention permanent rules committee voted to sever that portion of their report and send it immediately to the convention floor. With delegates leaving Corpus Christi to return to their homes around the state, attendance steadily declines throughout the convention’s second session. Severing the report allowed the convention to take up this important issue with the largest number of delegates in attendance.
When the issue came to the floor, members of the committee wanted to come to the hall to have an opportunity to speak and vote their positions. According to sources on the permanent rules committee, the committee recessed in order to give its members that chance. However, many of the members of the committee never returned, and the committee was unable to reach a quorum to continue its business.
More than 40 proposed rules changes on their agenda did not deal with the “Texas Two-Step”. A number of those were recommended by the temporary rule committee to be referred to the resolutions or legislative committees. The permanent rules committee acted on these with a single vote to agree with the recommendations. That left about a dozen proposed rules changes waiting for action.
Because those rules changes were not acted upon, they fall to the SDEC’s rules committee. The main question is whether the members of the permanent rules committee who did not return to the meeting in room 225D were confused into thinking the meeting had been adjourned instead of recessed. According to sources, SDEC member John Behrman made a motion to adjourn, which (if true) would have been out of order because Behrman was not a member of the permanent rules committee.
Alternatively, enough members of the permanent rules committee could have decided that because the main issue before the committee had been decided, they were not inclined to invest any more time on the committee’s agenda.
For whatever reason, there was no further report from the permanent rules committee to the convention. The delegates to the state convention were not allowed an opportunity to hear the proposals nor their recommendations. About a dozen such proposals passed multiple county and senatorial district conventions and deserved a hearing by the permanent rules committee.