The debates for the next presidential race in 2024 are still some time away, but there are signs that they will be shaping up to look much different already. 

On Thursday, Ronna McDaniel, the Chairwoman of the Republican National Committee (RNC), submitted a letter to the Committee on Presidential Debates (CPD) where she warned that Republican candidates may boycott the debates unless “meaningful reforms” are enacted to restore its confidence that the process will be conducted fairly.

In her three-page letter, McDaniel laid out her complaints against the CPD that she would like to see addressed ahead of 2024. Some of the measures she proposed included holding the first debate after early voting had begun and accusations that the commission was making unilateral changes to debate formats without informing candidates in a timely manner. 

McDaniels also accused the CPD of losing its veneer of non-partisanship for past critical remarks by board members about former President Donald Trump. Collectively, she says these factors cost the CPD enough credibility with her party that it may move to prohibit participation in future debates.

"So long as the CPD appears intent on stonewalling the meaningful reforms necessary to restore its credibility with the Republican Party as a fair and nonpartisan actor, the RNC will take every step to ensure that future Republican presidential nominees are given that opportunity elsewhere," wrote McDaniels. 

"Accordingly, the RNC will initiate the process of amending the Rules of the Republican Party at our upcoming Winter Meeting to prohibit future Republican nominees from participating in CPD-sponsored debates."

The CPD was established in 1987 as a nonpartisan organization to set rules for presidential debates. Its board is made up of a roster of members close to both parties to buttress its image of nonpartisanship. 

However, the CPD has been a subject of complaints from Republican officials that the body was biased against them. In 2016, former President Donald Trump railed against the CPD because one of its then co-chairs, Mike McCurry, was a former press aide in the Clinton White House. Today’s two co-chairs are both former officials, who served in administrations of both parties. 

In 2020, Trump declined to appear at his second debate with now-President Joe Biden, opting instead for a rally with his supporters. Just days earlier, the CPD announced that the debate would be held virtually after Trump tested positive for COVID-19 on Oct. 2. Trump also accused moderators Chris Wallace, formerly of Fox News, and NBC News’ Kristen Welker of being biased against him.

In response to McDaniels' letter, the CPD acknowledged her concerns and insisted that it would remain committed to upholding a fair set of debates in 2024.

“The CPD’s plans for 2024 will be based on fairness, neutrality and a firm commitment to help the American public learn about the candidates and the issues,"  said a CPD statement.