WASHINGTON — Rep. Ken Buck (R-Colorado) declined to endorse Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) for Speaker of the House of Representatives because of Jordan’s own refusal to acknowledge his very obvious victory. Joe Biden over Donald Trump in the 2020 presidential election.
But after Jordan dropped out, Buck happily voted for Rep. Mike Johnson (R-La.), even though Johnson hadn’t renounced his past support for the former president’s election denial — and even played a role key in its integration within the Republican Party by organizing a legal brief aimed at rejecting the results in key states.
According to Buck, Jordan is “different from Mike Johnson” although on this particular issue, the differences seem subtle. Basically, Buck argues that Johnson’s legal efforts were more just than Jordan’s political efforts, even though many outside observers would argue that the former set the stage for the latter.
There may be history between Buck and Jordan — an unrelated dispute, explained below — but Buck denies there is anything personal in his opposition to the Ohio Republican.
Here’s what happened in this month’s battle of the speakers: Buck first confronted Jordan and Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.) about the 2020 election during a Republican meeting in behind closed doors in the Capitol basement, where Jordan refused to directly answer his question about whether Biden had won fair and square.
Because they gave indirect answers, Buck said he voted “present” in the closed-door election for Republican Party chairman the next day.
“If we don’t have the moral clarity to decide whether President Biden won or not, we don’t have the moral clarity to govern this country, period,” Buck said. said after.
Then, a week later, after Scalise withdrew his candidacy and Jordan became the nominee, Buck met with Jordan privately and pressed him not only on the election, but also on his role in the events of the 6 January 2021, the day Trump supporters stormed. Capitol. Buck said Jordan was “more informed and involved in the whole election challenge” that day and that Jordan’s responses did not ease his concerns. Buck was one of 20 Republicans who voted against Jordan in the first of three failed House runoffs.
After Jordan suggested to his colleagues that the House should empower Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.) as temporary chair while Republicans continued to fight among themselves—a proposal that likely would have required Democratic votes—Buck opposed it.
Two sources said Buck approached a group of progressives in a Capitol hallway and told them that Democrats should stay away from the temporary president proposal because it would keep Jordan’s bid for president alive, and that Jordan’s candidacy must first be rejected in the House. (Several Democrats expressed interest in empowering McHenry, but as a group they never endorsed the idea before Republicans killed it themselves.)
Buck remembers the conversation a little differently, saying it wasn’t about beating Jordan.
“What I said to some progressives is, ‘If you run it, it’s going to get a lot of resistance from us,’” Buck said. “So don’t start initiating things with McHenry, because we might very well support him for this temporary president position, but not if it looks like it’s coming from the Democrats.”
After Jordan withdrew his candidacy for president, Republicans regrouped this week and chose Rep. Tom Emmer (R-Minn.), who himself withdrew after just four hours. Then the Republicans realized they needed a newcomer who hadn’t made too many enemiesso they went with Johnson.
Buck supported Johnson even though the Louisiana Republican was the leading name in a Supreme Court Brief seeking to reject the result of the December 2020 presidential election, citing “an unprecedented number of serious allegations of fraud and irregularities,” even though no serious allegations of organized fraud ever materialized.
“That’s absolutely how you challenge an election, you go to court,” Buck said, noting that he added his own name to the brief before speaking out against the plan to vote against certification of the election. ‘election.
Like Jordan, Johnson this month dodged questions from reporters about whether the election was stolen — including at a news conference in which Johnson smiled while his colleagues shouted at a journalist to “shut up”. But Buck said Jordan’s case was different because of his Implication of January 6which included several phone calls with Trump that day.
Buck was first elected in 2014. He is a conservative and a member of the far-right House Freedom Caucus, although he is somewhat unusual among Republicans for his skepticism of monopoly power and his support for stricter enforcement of antitrust laws.
In the previous Congress that began in 2020, when Democrats controlled the president’s gavel and chaired committees, Buck was the senior Republican on the House Judiciary Committee’s subcommittee on antitrust, commercial and administrative law. He worked with Democrats on antitrust legislation that actually became lawcreating new fees on corporate mergers.
But when Republicans won back the House this year, Buck did not become subcommittee chairman as ranking members usually do. Instead, with Jordan as chairman of the broader Judiciary Committee, the antitrust subcommittee was renamed to focus on “the administrative state, regulatory reform, and antitrust,” essentially reprioritizing the Republicans’ anti-government tendencies rather than market intervention. Jordan nominated Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) for president, essentially blocking any chance of antitrust reforms undermining the power of big tech or other industries.
Buck insisted the committee shakeup had nothing to do with his opposition to Jordan’s candidacy for president. “It’s not personal at all, it has nothing to do with it,” he said.
In recent months, Buck has also spoken out against key party priorities championed by Jordan, including the Republican Party’s continued and haphazard efforts to impeach Biden and its Jordan-led oversight of the Justice Department.
Jordan’s spokesperson recently released a statement saying the two were friends who would continue to work together. “I thought that was a great statement,” Buck said.
The Huffington Gt