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GOP Rep. announces sudden retirement with slim House majority

Rep. Ken Buck poses with an AR-15. (Rep. Ken Buck/Released)
March 12, 2024

Rep. Ken Buck (R-Colo.) announced Tuesday that he will be retiring from Congress next week. The Republican representative’s retirement leaves the GOP with a shrinking majority in the House of Representatives in the lead up to the November election.

“It has been an honor to serve the people of Colorado’s 4th District in Congress for the past 9 years. I want to thank them for their support and encouragement throughout the years. Today, I am announcing that I will depart Congress at the end of next week,” Buck wrote in a statement on social media. “I look forward to staying involved in our political process, as well as spending more time in Colorado and with my family.”

In an interview with CNN’s Dana Bash on Tuesday, Buck criticized the constant “bickering” between lawmakers on Capitol Hill.

“It is the worst year of the nine years and three months that I’ve been in Congress and having talked to former members, it’s the worst year in 40, 50 years to be in Congress. But I’m leaving because I think there’s a job to do out there,” Buck said. “This place has just devolved into this bickering and nonsense and not really doing the job for the American people,” he said.

According to Fox News, Buck has served as a member of the House of Representatives since November of 2014. The Colorado Republican currently serves on both the House Foreign Affairs Committee and the House Judiciary Committee.

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Buck’s retirement will leave only 431 members in the House of Representatives, with 218 Republicans and 213 Democrats. As a result, the GOP majority will only be able to lose two Republican votes. According to CNN, the slim Republican majority has already been a significant challenge for House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.).

Asked by Bash whether former President Donald Trump’s likely nomination as the Republican Party’s presidential candidate impacted his decision to retire, Buck said, “Whether he was the nominee or not, I think our system is broken in how we choose candidates and I want to get involved in that process.”

Buck told Bash that wherever he goes in Colorado, people “are not happy” with President Joe Biden and Trump. The retiring Republican lawmaker said he plans to find an organization to join to solve that issue.

“I’m going to start working on that issue,” he said. “We have to have better candidates up and down the ballot.”