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The Jordan Skeptics Strike Back

Perhaps the most notable holdout was the House Appropriations chair Kay Granger.
Perhaps the most notable holdout was the House Appropriations chair Kay Granger. Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images
Abby Livingston
October 17, 2023

This afternoon, facing a coalition of every House Democrat and 20 Republican defectors, right-wing favorite Jim Jordan fell short of the votes needed to secure the speakership. Until this early morning, the operating theory was that an inevitable first round loss would set the stage for a war of attrition on the House floor, forcing the institutionalists to buckle. So far, that does not appear to be happening. 

The number of defections was somewhat expected, but the makeup of the Jordan opposition stunned Republicans and Democrats alike: It seems the G.O.P. institutionalists finally found a hill they were willing to die on.