Ken Buck removed from conservative House Freedom Caucus

 March 21, 2024

The House Freedom Caucus gave Republican Ken Buck (Co.) a nudge out the door ahead of his retirement from Congress on Friday.

Members of the hardline conservative group officially removed Buck, who has alienated his party with his opposition to President Trump.

Ken Buck booted out

The Freedom Caucus includes some of the most conservative members of Congress, who are known for butting heads with Republican leadership over federal spending.

The group was instrumental in the ouster of former Speaker Kevin McCarthy last year, with Buck among the eight House Republicans voting to remove him.

But Buck "hasn’t been with conservatives on several major issues” and “is leaving the conference hanging with a historically narrow margin" with his decision to leave Congress without a replacement, caucus members told The Hill.

The Freedom Caucus sources also said Buck had stopped attending regular meetings months ago and is no longer in "good standing."

The Colorado Republican recently announced he would retire from Congress ahead of schedule, blindsiding House Republicans who are struggling to keep their fragile majority united.

Principled conservative or grandstander?

Buck had a break with his party after January 6th, echoing liberal rhetoric about Trump's election "lies." He further alienated Republicans by bashing the impeachment inquiry into Joe Biden and the impeachment of Alejandro Mayorkas.

Buck has blamed his early retirement on disillusionment with Washington and his own political party, telling the Washington Times that the GOP had lost touch with its conservative principles and become "more of a MAGA party now."

While Buck cites his principles, Republican colleagues are sure to see his dramatic exit as an act of selfish grandstanding.

Ahead of his resignation Friday, Buck joined Democrats on a "discharge petition" to force the House to vote on aid to Ukraine.

With Buck and McCarthy gone, and Democrats having flipped the seat formerly held by expelled member George Santos, Republicans are left with a mere two-vote buffer.

A special election will be held in June for the remainder of Buck's term. Colorado Republican Lauren Boebert, a Freedom Caucus member, is expected to run for a full term in November.

The Freedom Caucus removed pro-Trump Republican Marjorie Taylor Greene (Ga.), a McCarthy ally, last year after she got into a public spat with Boebert.

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