Jim Jordan has tried hard to propitiate Republican skeptics of his bid for Speaker of the House, and he could have won Tuesday while losing four votes. Instead it was 20 on the first ballot. After two weeks of House paralysis, it’s no clearer who can pull Republicans back together. Mr. Jordan was still seeking votes by our deadline, but if he falls short, perhaps the solution, for now, is to empower acting Speaker Patrick McHenry.
In Mr. Jordan’s defense, he made significant headway: Last week 55 Republicans said they wouldn’t vote for him on the floor, and he cut that by more than half. Defense hawks Michael McCaul and Mike Rogers came around after private conversations with Mr. Jordan that we’re told included talk of combining military aid for Ukraine and Israel with money for border security. Mr. Jordan’s allies also threatened holdouts with harassment on cable TV.
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