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The Democratic National Convention’s rules committee convened Saturday to consider the report that it will present on the convention’s opening day in Philadelphia. The meeting was dominated by the controversial issues of the lengthy Democratic primary campaign: the role of superdelegates, the role of caucuses and, in general, how open the Democratic nomination process should be.
Here is what happened at the committee meeting:
After a series of uncontentious votes and a short recess, the committee began to consider amendments to the charter of the party and the rules of the nomination process. This began with amendments affecting the influence of superdelegates — including an amendment to abolish them and another to reduce their number. All of these amendments failed by a ratio of about 3 to 2.
At that point, committee members from both the Clinton and Sanders teams called for a recess. The ensuing three-hour break produced a unity amendment that created a post-convention commission to examine not only the superdelegate process but the other perceived shortcomings of the process. This “Unity Reform Commission” would be the successor to the Democratic Change Commission of eight years ago.
If the full convention approves the rules committee’s report on Monday, here is what will happen:
1 - No more than 60 days after the election of the next chair of the Democratic National Committee early next year, the chair will establish the Unity Reform Commission (URC).
2 - Its membership will include Clinton surrogate Jennifer O’Malley Dillon as commission chairwoman and Sanders proxy Larry Cohen as vice chair. Clinton will fill nine additional slots, and Sanders will fill seven. The next DNC chair will select three members.
3 - The URC will meet during 2017 with the goal of producing a set of rules recommendations for the Democratic Rules and Bylaws Committee by Jan. 1, 2018.
4 - The normal procedure is for the Rules and Bylaws Committee to consider those recommendations before sending them — potentially in an amended form — to the full Democratic National Committee for a final vote. That procedure remains intact. However, the URC retains the ability to place its recommendations before the full DNC if the Rules and Bylaws Committee “fails to substantially adopt” any of them.