In the realm of American politics, tumultuous times often yield unexpected developments, and this sentiment rings true for Rep. Ken Buck, a staunch Republican from Colorado. Amid the internal turmoil of the House GOP’s quest to select the next Speaker of the House, Buck has not only taken a firm stance but has also faced alarming death threats and repercussions that extend beyond the political arena.
The Turbulent Speaker Selection
As the Republican Party wrestles with the choice of the Speaker of the House, Rep. Ken Buck has emerged as a prominent figure who refuses to toe the party line. This internal struggle centers around Rep. Jim Jordan’s endeavor to secure the role of Speaker of the House, a role that Buck has steadfastly declined to endorse.
Death Threats and Intimidation
In a recent NBC interview, Rep. Ken Buck shed light on the alarming situation surrounding his stance. He revealed that his office had been inundated with a distressing volume of four death threats explicitly linked to his refusal to endorse Rep. Jim Jordan’s bid for Speaker. It’s a troubling testament to the intensity of the political divide in the United States.
The relentless barrage of phone calls and messages has had a significant impact on Buck’s office, leading to the deployment of six full-time personnel to manage the influx of communications. Out of a staggering 20,000 messages received, Buck lamented, “so far I’ve had four death threats.” This shocking revelation underscores the high stakes and intense emotions involved in the Speaker selection process.
The consequences of Rep. Ken Buck’s unwavering stance extend beyond the death threats. He disclosed that he has been ousted from his Colorado office space, a move instigated by a displeased landlord who vehemently disapproved of his voting record in the Speaker matter. Buck’s situation is not isolated; it appears to be a shared predicament within the Republican conference, where even family members have been subjected to harassment and intimidation, fostering an atmosphere of palpable tension.
A Broader Issue
Rep. Ken Buck is not alone in facing these challenges. Other Republican Representatives, including Mariannette Miller-Meeks of Iowa, Drew Ferguson of Georgia, and Don Bacon of Nebraska, have reported receiving threats due to their non-allegiance to Jordan’s cause. This demonstrates that the Speaker selection process has broader implications, affecting multiple politicians who dare to break from the party line.
The Speaker Vote
The recent Speaker vote, held on Wednesday, saw a notable increase in opposition to Jim Jordan. Twenty-two Republicans cast their ballots against him, two more than those who opposed him during the initial vote. Jordan secured 199 votes, a decrease of one from the previous day. To be officially anointed as Speaker of the House, he requires a minimum of 217 votes in the presence of all 433 members. A third round of voting is anticipated on Friday, adding to the ongoing drama.
Rep. Buck’s Suggestion
In his interview, Rep. Ken Buck, one of eight Republicans who aligned with Democrats to unseat former Speaker Kevin McCarthy, posited that Jim Jordan should consider withdrawing his aspirations to lead the House. Buck suggested, “I think the best course of action for Jim at this juncture is to withdraw. It’s possible he may need one more vote to convince him that his quest is unattainable, which is perfectly acceptable. He was, after all, the nominee. The conference should extend that courtesy. However, at some point, we must advance and secure the requisite 217 votes to enact a viable plan.”
In response to Rep. Buck’s suggestion, Jim Jordan convened a press conference on Friday morning, seemingly indicating his unyielding commitment to pursue the Speakership. A brief interlude on Thursday had seen Jordan tentatively supporting the allocation of temporary powers to Speaker Pro Tempore Patrick McHenry. However, it soon became evident that a substantial faction of Republicans vehemently opposed this measure.
Buck’s Conciliatory Tone
Despite the ongoing political drama, Rep. Ken Buck remains open to compromise. He expressed his willingness to endorse Patrick McHenry’s elevation to the position of Speaker, albeit on a transitory basis. Buck clarified, “I would be inclined to grant McHenry the title of Speaker of the House for a limited duration, during which I would diligently collaborate with my Republican colleagues to secure the elusive 217 votes required to designate a permanent Speaker for the remainder of this legislative session.”
The ongoing Speaker saga within the Republican Party, as exemplified by Rep. Ken Buck’s steadfast stance and the resulting threats and turmoil, is a reflection of the intense political climate in the United States. As the drama unfolds, it remains to be seen how the party will resolve this internal struggle and choose its next Speaker of the House, a decision that carries significant implications for the nation’s political landscape.