Rep. Luna claims responsibility for ousting ex-Rep. Buck from House Freedom Caucus just days before his early resignation from Congress

 March 29, 2024

Former Rep. Ken Buck (R-CO) announced late last year that he would not seek re-election, with the natural presumption being that he would retire at the end of the current term, but the ex-congressman stunned everybody by abruptly announcing his early retirement a couple of weeks ago.

Buck was forced out of the conservative House Freedom Caucus just days before his unexpected resignation, and now another member of that group, Rep. Anna Paulina Luna (R-FL), has claimed credit for that particular development, the Washington Examiner reported.

The congresswoman's comments also seemed to further confirm some hard feelings among some House Republicans against Buck over his earlier-than-expected departure, not the least of which was the reduction of the GOP's already slim majority in the chamber but also how the timing of his exit appeared to hamper the plans of Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) to run for Buck's seat in the upcoming elections.

Luna takes credit for pushing Buck out of House Freedom Caucus

Rep. Luna appeared Thursday on Fox Business's "Mornings with Maria" and spoke with host Maria Bartiromo about a handful of topics that included multiple early departures from Republican members, such as ex-Rep. Buck, that imperiled the party's minuscule majority in the House.

Near the end of the conversation, Luna revealed, "I don’t know that I’ve publicly said this, but with what Rep. Buck had done, especially to another member of Congress, in potentially hamstringing Rep. Boebert’s election, I actually was the member that came forward and asked him to leave the Freedom Caucus."

"And as a result of that, he was actually expelled from the Freedom Caucus," the Florida congresswoman added. "So, you know, we have a code of honor here. And as a result of that, if you can’t live by that code of honor, then you don’t deserve the title."

Buck's ouster from the House Freedom Caucus

Last week, just a few days before former Rep. Buck was set to resign on March 22, The Hill reported that the House Freedom Caucus, of which Buck had long been a member, voted to dismiss him from the staunchly conservative group that often serves as a check against the more moderate Republican and Democratic establishments and congressional leadership as a whole.

Anonymous members of the Caucus told the outlet at the time that Buck's removal was due to multiple reasons, including not regularly attending meetings and no longer being in "good standing" with other members, that he "hasn’t been with conservatives on several major issues" recently, and that his abrupt departure was "leaving the conference hanging with a historically narrow margin."

There had been signs of trouble brewing for months, as Punchbowl News reported in October 2023 that Buck had begun to distance himself from the House Freedom Caucus after registering his vehement opposition to the Speakership bid of Caucus co-founder Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), who sought to replace ousted Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), who Buck had voted to remove.

"I’ve stayed away from Freedom Caucus meetings because I don’t want them to think I’m spying on them," Buck, once a close ally of Jordan until an apparent falling out after multiple disagreements on various issues, told the outlet. "We disagree on this. I respect our disagreement. When this is over, I will engage again."

Except, it doesn't appear that Buck ever fully reengaged with the Freedom Caucus following the bitter Speakership battle, and further deepened the apparent rift when he voted against the initial attempt to impeach Homeland Security Sec. Alejandro Mayorkas, which was further compounded by his sharply critical remarks against some of his fellow GOP colleagues on his way out the door.

Buck pushes back against Boebert's accusations

As for what Rep. Luna had to say about former Rep. Buck "hamstringing" the effort of Rep. Boebert to move from her competitive 3rd District seat to the more solidly Republican 4th District, that was an accusation put forward by the Colorado congresswoman and others because the special election to replace Buck for the remainder of the term coincides with the state's primary election on June 25.

That wrinkled Boebert's plans in that it would have compelled her to resign her current seat if she ran in and won the special election, but in an interview with the Colorado Sun, Buck said accusations his early exit was intended to harm her political career were "ridiculous" and that her fundraising off such allegations was "fundamentally unfair."

Of the 4th District's special election and primary election being on the same day, Buck said he purposefully coordinated with Democratic Colorado Gov. Jared Polis for that to occur as a cost-saving measure. He further insisted to the Sun, "I’m not giving anybody an advantage or disadvantage," and added, "I have done my very best to stay out of this primary election."

Latest News

© 2024 - Patriot News Alerts