Freedom Caucus Kicks Out Rep. Ken Buck Days Before His Retirement


WASHINGTON — Members of the right-wing House Freedom Caucus voted to remove Rep. Ken Buck (R-Col.) this week, just days before his early exit from Congress.

Buck said Freedom Caucus chair Bob Good (R-Va.) called him on Tuesday to deliver the news.

“He did open by saying, ‘I’m not happy about having to make this call,’ or something like that,” Buck told HuffPost. “Bob’s a friend. I get it.”

Buck announced in November that he wouldn’t run for another term in Congress, and then earlier this month, he surprised his colleagues by saying he would leave this week instead of finishing his term. His expulsion from the far-right group has no practical effect on his final votes in Congress or his retirement; it’s just a petty indignity on his way out the door.

The former prosecutor, first elected to the House in 2014, has in the past year spoken out against his fellow Republicans’ lies about the 2020 election and some of their unfounded corruption allegations against President Joe Biden.

But Buck said Good told him the Freedom Caucus voted him out for a technical reason.

“What Bob told me was that I had missed three meetings in a row, and as a result, they had decided to remove me,” Buck said. “Now there are more than a dozen members who have missed three meetings in a row, so it obviously was there was a different impetus for removing me, and he did not go into that.”

The Hill first reported on Buck’s ouster earlier this week, with an unnamed Freedom Caucus member saying Buck “hasn’t been with conservatives on several major issues.”

Buck was one of the eight far-right lawmakers, all Freedom Caucus members, who voted to throw former Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) out of the speaker’s office last fall after McCarthy allowed the House to pass a bipartisan government funding bill.

When Republicans considered replacements for McCarthy, Buck challenged them, during an internal meeting in October, to say Joe Biden won the 2020 election fair and square. Unsatisfied by their evasive answers, Buck voted “present.”

“If we don’t have the moral clarity to decide whether President Biden won or not, we don’t have the moral clarity to rule in this country, period,” he said afterward.

Buck’s not the first to get the boot from the Freedom Caucus. The group voted out Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) last summer following her spat with Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Col.).

Buck said this week that he’s disappointed to have been cut loose from the Freedom Caucus, which he said was created to push for “regular order” in the House, to demand votes on amendments to appropriations bills, to open up the legislative process.

He said, “I was a founding member of the Freedom Caucus and believed in — and still believe in — the mission.”

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