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Monday
Jul182016

Republican Convention Floor Erupts in Chaos as Never Trump Forces Thwarted

ABC News(CLEVELAND) -- The floor of the Republican National Convention erupted into chaos Monday amid an attempt by never-Trump forces to change the rules of the event, but the efforts were defeated, thwarting the movement to stop the real estate mogul's path to the nomination.

Delegates engaged in dueling chants of "Roll call vote" and "USA" on the floor after the chair forced a voice vote and judged that those who favored the existing rules prevailed. Colorado's delegation even walked off of the floor in protest amid the chaos.

The push to force a roll call vote was defeated, eliminating the last available avenue for never-Trump forces to unbind delegates. Trump has amassed more than 1,237 delegates through the primary season — enough to secure the nomination. But there was an effort to release some of those delegates so they could vote for other candidates.

The chairman presiding over the voice vote, Rep. Steve Womack of Arkansas, returned after a brief absence to call for a second voice vote, after he initially ruled in favor of adopting the rules in the first voice vote. Once again, Womack ruled in favor of the ayes, as he did after the first voice vote. He then recognized the Utah delegate standing next to Sen. Mike Lee to offer a motion requesting a roll call vote.

Womack said that only six states supported a roll call vote on the floor, falling below the threshold of seven states required to force such a vote. Womack did not reveal which states dropped off. The Utah delegate asked which states dropped off, but his microphone was turned off. Instead, Womack ruled that the rules package passed.

Delegates Unbound, which was hoping to let GOP delegates vote for whomever they choose, said earlier Monday they had the support necessary to force a roll call vote on the rules package.

The roll call vote would have been an incremental step toward unbinding pledged delegates who are committed to voting for Donald Trump but would like to vote for another candidate. If this had succeeded, delegates on the floor would have needed to reject the entire rules package passed by a rules committee earlier Monday, sending it back to the committee for reconsideration.

"Despite every obstacle thrown in our way, the movement of all the stakeholders involved in this effort have gained a majority of the delegates in 10 states," Delegates Unbound co-founder M. Dane Waters said in a statement Monday. "Now we take this fight to the floor."

According to Rule 39, a roll call vote may be called if a majority of at least seven states demands a vote on the floor.

 

 

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