WEDNESDAY UPDATE: The goodwill extended below to Rep. Ken Buck for defending Rep. Ilhan Omar is hereby retracted.
NEWS: BUCK says he has flipped his vote to YES for removing Omar from Committee after good convo w McCarthy about possible rules change to make it harder to remove people from committees
— Scott Wong (@scottwongDC) February 1, 2023
If you’re wondering what swampy quid pro quo Rep. Buck received for abandoning his principles, you’re not alone. In a way, it’s good for Buck to disabuse us of notions of his integrity whenever we entertain them.
NBC News reported late Friday that Colorado’s periodically maverick-y GOP Rep. Ken Buck is not happy with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s decision to remove Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar from her post on the House Foreign Affairs Committee:
The GOP effort to remove Rep. Ilhan Omar from the House Foreign Affairs Committee took another blow Friday, with Rep. Ken Buck, R-Colo., pledging to oppose it.
Speaker Kevin McCarthy has pledged to remove the Minnesota Democrat from the panel for past comments that he characterized as antisemitic. That would require a full House vote, and Buck’s statement Friday means McCarthy likely cannot afford to lose any more Republican votes if he wants Omar removed.
“I think that we should not engage in this tit for tat. I am opposed to the selection — or the removal — of Congresswoman Omar from committees,” Buck said in an interview on Meet the Press NOW.
Buck said he had “a little bit less certainty” about McCarthy’s decision to bar California Democratic Reps. Adam Schiff and Eric Swalwell from the House Intelligence Committee, which McCarthy could do as Speaker.
Buck joins several other Republican representatives unexpectedly defending Rep. Omar–enough that McCarthy can’t lose any more if he follows through with the required vote to remove her. McCarthy’s retaliation against these high-profile critics of President Donald Trump are broadly viewed as score-settling for Republican Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene and Paul Gosar bring stripped of their committee assignments in the previous Congress, after making violent threats and inferences against their colleagues. Buck didn’t support that action either, of course, but he gets credit for consistency at least in standing up for Rep. Omar.
And as the Phil Anschutz-owned Washington Examiner reports, there’s another reason why Buck might see little downside to pushing back on McCarthy:
House Republicans are set to hand libertarian Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) the gavel for the subcommittee responsible for antitrust, a snub to one of Republicans’ most vocal Big Tech critics and a sign the conference will try to steer clear of major clashes with Silicon Valley. [Pols emphasis]
Top Republican Big Tech critic Ken Buck (R-CO) was expected to take over the House Judiciary Committee panel responsible for antitrust, which would have positioned him to promote bills and oversight efforts aimed at curbing the power of Silicon Valley. Massie is viewed as more aligned with House Republicans who do not favor stronger government intervention to address perceived abuses and free-speech violations on the part of tech companies…
In the last Congress, Buck aligned himself with liberal Democrats on bipartisan measures that would step up antitrust scrutiny of the largest tech companies. The bills did not become law, thanks to opposition from centrists in both parties. Buck has made clear that he favors a more significant role for the federal government in counterbalancing the market and political influence of Big Tech, a stance long rejected by his party but that has gained currency among conservatives as they’ve found themselves opposed to tech gatekeepers on culture war issues.
Though their motivation beneath the headlines obviously differed, Rep. Buck found common cause with some liberal House members including Rep. Joe Neguse of Boulder in legislation to step up anti-trust regulation and scrutiny of the largest tech-opolies like Google, Amazon, and Apple. That effort appears to be effectively dead in Kevin McCarthy’s House, scuttling one of Buck’s biggest remaining political objectives in what’s generally believed to be the latter days of Buck’s career in Washington.
Like Bob Dylan said, when you’ve got nothing you’ve got nothing left to lose.
Ken Buck has a remarkable habit of being horrible 10 times and then reasonable once. He got it right this time. Lather rinse repeat 10 horrible times.
He should just retire so Barb Kirkmeyer can have a district she might actually win.
You really think Kirkmeyer would beat Jerry Sonnenberg in an R primary for CD-4?
No. Jerry would be the victor in that match-up.
Bite your tongue. I can't imagine her ever doing anything reasonable or teaming up with Democrats to do anything. She's an older version of Two-gun Tootsie.
I agree. Buck represents his district well and is open minded. I hope he continues there for some time.
"Buck represents his district well and is open minded"
Represents his district well = Yes
Is open minded =
Buck does not always tow the party line (to wit: his defense of Liz Cheney).
Buck's defense of Liz Cheney was payback from long ago, when Daddy Cheney was Buck's mentor.
In comparison to other Republicans? Maybe.
True, Buck is far and away the best and the brightest of Colorado's US House Republicans.
Don’t trip over that low bar.
Didn't Kirkmeyer lose to Buck in the CD-4 GOP primary in 2014?
Yep…she finished third in a field of four candidates (Buck 44.2%; Scott Renfroe 23.9%, Babs 16.4%, Steve Laffey 15.4%).
I’ve had my share of criticisms of Ken “Kill ’em all and let God sort it out” Buck but he has been good on this issue.
It looks like Ilhan Omar has been removed from the Foreign Affairs Committee on a party line vote. The resolution to remove her was combined with a resolution denouncing the horrors of socialism.
Final Vote Results for Roll Call 102 (house.gov)
Question: Isn't free government cheese a form of socialism? Asking for a friend.
Socialism? Like our rural electric cooperatives? Our local hospital district? The local Ace Hardware store? USPS? Cenex?
“Well, shit, there go all our farm subsidies,” (said no one in Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas, South Dakota, North Dakota, …).
It's only socialism when it goes to people they do not like – which admittedly is a very long list.