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June 01, 2023 03:29 AM MDT

Ken Buck Weakly Sort Of Calls For Kevin McCarthy's Head

  • by: Colorado Pols
Rep. Ken Buck (R).

As the New York Times’ Carl Hulse reports, yesterday’s passage of legislation to raise the nation’s debt limit until beyond the next presidential election by the GOP-controlled U.S. House, over the objections of the far-right Republicans who pushed hardest to exploit what should have been a routine vote for maximum political damage, has prompted calls for House Speaker Kevin McCarthy to be ousted from his position–a process which, as readers will recall, can be initiated by a single member of Congress as a condition of McCarthy winning the gavel in January:

[I]n the end, he delivered an agreement that met his goal of cutting spending from current levels. It was not pretty; in fact, it was downright ugly. He managed to do so only with significant help from across the aisle, as Democrats rescued him on a key procedural vote and then provided the support needed for passage. Mr. McCarthy exceeded his goal of winning the support of the majority of his members with 149 backing it, but more Democrats — 165 of them — voted for the bill than members of his own party, an outcome that will fuel Republican criticism that he cut a deal that sold out his own people. [Pols emphasis]

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R).

That’s the assessment of Colorado’s Rep. Ken Buck, in the headlines today as one of the early critics suggesting that a motion to vacate the speaker’s chair may be in order:

Representative Ken Buck, Republican of Colorado, said Mr. McCarthy had hurt himself with many House Republicans “big time, big time.”

“I think this is going to be a problem for him,” said Mr. Buck, who along with other critics of Mr. McCarthy said lawmakers would be talking among themselves about how or whether to proceed with an attempt to force out the speaker.

As The Hill’s Jared Gans reports, Buck claims yesterday’s compromise was an abrogation of the deal Speaker McCarthy made with House conservatives to win his office:

Buck on Wednesday reiterated claims from a group of far-right lawmakers who say McCarthy broke his word in the agreement that sealed their initial support for his Speakership.

Buck and others say McCarthy promised that he would push for government funding at fiscal 2022 appropriations levels as Speaker, but his deal with Biden would keep nondefense spending at 2023 levels for the next fiscal year and allow a 1 percent increase in 2025.

Buck said the difference is a “major change for a lot of people.”

As angry as the right side of the House GOP caucus may be at Speaker McCarthy, the heavy bipartisan backup he received on this compromise bill combined with a faction of pro-McCarthy conservatives led by Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene dims the prospects for any effort to oust McCarthy. At least for now, McCarthy appears to have successfully outmaneuvered the far-right members of his caucus who embarrassingly complicated his ascension to the speakership in January. Meanwhile, one of McCarthy’s most visible detractors from the speakership struggle, Rep. Lauren Boebert, didn’t even vote on the bill–which effectively pulls the plug on her right to complain.

When Buck says this turn of events is a “major change for a lot of people,” he’s right.

The change is that the most obstructionist elements of the House GOP caucus got sidelined.


10 thoughts on “Ken Buck Weakly Sort Of Calls For Kevin McCarthy’s Head

  1. Critical sentence in this post is the last one. Obstructionist Republicans are going to have a tougher time obstructing. Buck shows again what a big bag of hot air he is.

      1. LOL. You would think so, huh?

        OK, I wasn’t intending for that to mean specifically “in physical proximity to.” My intention was more, that’s it damn near impossible to find oneself on the opposite side of MTG (on any issue) and be so totally wrong. Somehow, buck managed exactly that — slithering beneath one of the lowest bars possible?!!

  2. I lost Jason Crow and was stuck with Buck after redistricting. I called Buck's office and spoke to a staffer, stating that Buck should not oppose the compromise bill, and that default was irresponsible.

    So Ken goes full Freedom Caucus and votes No, basically a vote to support default.

    Even Doug Lamborn voted Yes. Buck is our state's one No vote.

    If this were medical practice, it would be gross negligence and malpractice. But it's politics, where unserious actors like Buck are given power they cannot respect.

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