GOP Rep Ken Buck To Step Down, Shrinking Party's Narrow House Majority

Rep. Ken Buck (Reuters)

Republican U.S. representative Ken Buck of Colorado said on Tuesday that he would resign from Congress at the end of next week, narrowing the already slim majority held by Republicans in the chamber.

Buck, 65, in a written statement posted on social media platform X, did not give a reason for leaving Congress but said he would "look forward to staying involved in our political process, as well as spending more time in Colorado and with my family."

The congressman had announced in November 2023 that he would not seek reelection to his position. Buck's sudden departure shrinks the GOP's majority to 218 seats compared with Democrats' 213, with three vacancies. As it stands, Republicans can lose two votes and no more if they want to pass legislation.

In an interview on CNN, Buck cited his constituents' unhappiness with the choice of candidates and dysfunction in Congress as major reasons for his leaving.

"Everywhere I go in Colorado, Dana, I hear that people are not happy with Trump and they’re not happy with [President Joe] Biden," he told the network's Dana Bash. "I think we need to change our electoral laws here, and I have a passion for that, and I am going to leave, and I am going to find the right organization to join, and I’m going to start working on that issue. We have to have better candidates up and down the ballot."

Buck told Bash that he chose to leave now rather than stay his whole term because he wanted to "get in the mix of this election cycle" to talk about issues that are important to Americans. He also said Congress is especially dysfunctional in 2024.

"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," Buck said. "But I’m leaving because I think there’s a job to do out there." Buck added that the body has "devolved into this bickering and nonsense" and is "not really doing the job for the American people."

Buck has been a critic of former president Donald Trump and the impeachment effort against Biden. Bash asked Buck if the fact that Trump will almost certainly be his party's nominee was a reason for his abrupt departure.

"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 said.