Tampa, Florida (CNN) - Anxieties about the fate of the presidential nominating process broke out into the open Thursday during a meeting of the Republican National Committee, but party officials declined to take formal action against states that might disrupt the primary calendar in 2012.
The issue is hardly dead, however, and figures to be high on the agenda when the RNC meets again this winter, just before the Republican primary voters begin casting ballots in the presidential race.
Multiple states, including Arizona, Florida and Michigan, are threatening to hold early primaries in violation of party rules that protect Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina as the first four nominating states. No state other than the first four is allowed to have a caucus or primary contest prior to March 6, 2012.
RNC members at the committee's summer meeting in Tampa were debating whether to issue a formal warning to states wanting to move ahead in the process.
According to a motion approved by the RNC's presidential calendar committee, states pondering a move were to be put on notice that their delegations to the Republican National Convention in Tampa next August would not only be cut in half, but also stripped of their VIP passes and guest privileges.
In addition, delegations from offending states would be banished to inferior seating locations in the convention hall and the worst hotels in the Tampa Bay area.
But after a brief debate inside the RNC Rules Committee meeting, the motion was tabled.
Party officials planned to revisit the controversy at their winter meeting next January.
Michigan Committeeman Saul Anuzis said the RNC will have a better sense of which states deserve the stricter penalties by then, because primary dates will be largely set by Oct. 1 of this year.
"In January, we will actually be passing out penalties," Anuzis said.