Sen. Ken Buck warns more Republican retirements coming in concerning development for Speaker Johnson

 March 14, 2024

Colorado House Republican Ken Buck's announcement of his impending resignation has sparked speculation within the GOP about potential further departures, which could further diminish the party's already narrow majority in the chamber.

Buck, a prominent figure known for his staunch conservative views, disclosed his decision to step down at the end of the week, raising concerns among Republicans about the stability of their caucus.

The interview

When pressed by Axios about potential pressure from colleagues regarding his resignation, Buck hinted at possible future resignations, suggesting that the next few departures could be cause for concern for the party.

His departure will reduce the House Republicans to 218 members, compared to 213 Democrats, posing challenges to Speaker Mike Johnson's efforts to maintain control.

Despite being recognized as a conservative stalwart, Buck recently garnered attention for his dissent against fellow Republicans' attempts to impeach President Joe Biden and Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.

The statement

In a statement posted on X, formerly known as Twitter, Buck expressed gratitude for his nine-year tenure representing Colorado's 4th District in Congress.

He emphasized his desire to remain engaged in the political process while prioritizing time with his family in Colorado.

Speaking to CNN following his announcement, Buck criticized the dysfunction within Congress, characterizing the current period as the most challenging during his tenure. He cited frustration with the divisive nature of partisan politics and his desire to pursue alternative opportunities outside of Congress.

When questioned about the influence of Donald Trump's status as the presumptive Republican presidential candidate on his decision, Buck underscored broader concerns about the flaws in the political system's candidate selection process.

Johnson's reaction

Speaker Johnson expressed surprise at Buck's announcement, indicating that he was not informed beforehand. A spokesperson for the Colorado Republican clarified that Buck left a voicemail message stating his intentions 30 minutes prior to the public announcement.

Buck's decision to resign early presents a significant obstacle for Rep. Lauren Boebert, another Colorado Republican, who sought to succeed Buck as the representative of Colorado's 4th Congressional District in the November election. Boebert's eligibility to run in the June special election hinges on vacating her current seat representing the state's 3rd Congressional District.

Former GOP congressman Adam Kinzinger weighed in on Buck's resignation, suggesting that it provides an advantage to any candidate other than Lauren Boebert.

The development underscores the potential ramifications of Buck's departure from the GOP, prompting renewed discussions about the party's future direction and cohesion within the House of Representatives.

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