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February 03, 2023 11:38 AM UTC

Please Don't Tell Kevin McCarthy How Ken Buck Really Feels

  • by: Colorado Pols
Rep. Ken Buck identifies the caster of the “stupidest vote in the world.”

We wrote earlier this week about Rep. Ken Buck’s opposition to House Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s decision to remove Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota from her position on the House Foreign Affairs Committee–a move that required a vote of the full House due to that committee’s importance. After earning some plaudits for pushing back on what’s widely considered to be tit-for-tat retaliation for the removal by Democrats of arguably much more deserving Republicans from their committee spots in the previous Congress, as NPR reported yesterday, Rep. Buck relented after a “conversation” with McCarthy about supposedly making it harder to do this in the future:

Some Republicans have been calling for Omar’s removal from the committee for years. But others voiced concerns about due process this week, and with a razor-thin Republican majority, it wasn’t clear that the resolution had enough votes to pass.

Rep. Victoria Spartz, R-Ind., supported the move only after language was added allowing members to appeal their removal to the House Ethics Committee. Rep. Ken Buck, R-Colo., dropped his opposition after a conversation with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy Wednesday, in which Buck proposed future removals be handled by a majority vote in the evenly split Ethics Committee.

“He committed to the process of getting something like that done,” Buck said Wednesday, adding that Congress needs to “stop this nonsense of kicking people off committees because it’s just wrong.”

Buck’s complaints that “kicking people off committees” is bad practice apparently didn’t apply to Rep. Omar, at least not enough for her to be anything more than a bargaining chip for this seemingly meager concession to apply in future circumstances. The lack of any real concession from McCarthy has led to speculation that Buck may have received some other reward for ending his opposition. Either way, as Roll Call’s Rachel Oswald scooped yesterday, Buck’s two-faced grumbling about the situation didn’t end with his cave-in to McCarthy:

Following the vote, House Foreign Affairs member Ken Buck, R-Colo., was overheard in an elevator calling it the “stupidest vote in the world.” [Pols emphasis] Fellow Rep. Mike Simpson, R-Idaho, agreed and added that all it does is make Omar a “martyr.” They both also agreed that it was simply a retaliatory vote in response to Democrats removing certain Republicans from committees in the 117th Congress.

Buck and Simpson urged fellow passengers in the elevator to not let leadership know their thoughts.

That request was not honored, and Rep. Buck’s disingenuousness is on full display–right after voting “yes” on what Buck himself describes as the “stupidest vote in the world.” If that is how Buck felt about voting to remove Rep. Omar from her committee assignment, he should have stuck to his principles and voted against it.

The lesson here must inevitably be that Buck has no principles. Or at least…principles that can be swamped.


6 thoughts on “Please Don’t Tell Kevin McCarthy How Ken Buck Really Feels

  1. And here I thought the “stupidest vote in the world” was all those cast last month to make someone so obviously unfit to be House Speaker the House Speaker ???

    A very close “second stupidest vote in the world” being the vote any fool cast in favor, going along, knowing it was “the stupidest vote in the world” ??

    Hell, this ouster vote was probably only “the stupidest vote in the world” thus far in the first three days of the month of February ?

  2. She's only 40 years old and has a pretty solid record in her district: 75% of the votes in the last election. One reason it was a stupid move to kick her off the committee is that it could improve her support even further, and get her even more solidly implanted into the House. With a few more years of seniority and a Democratic majority in the House, she might be running the Foreign Affairs Committee. 

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