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Republican Announces Abrupt Exit From Congress: ‘This Place Is Dysfunctional’

Colorado Rep. Ken Buck is abruptly leaving Congress, calling the institution a “dysfunctional” mess that has “devolved into this bickering and nonsense and not really doing the job for the American people.”

Buck issued a statement through his office on Tuesday announcing that he will “depart Congress at the end of next week,” nearly eight months before his term is scheduled to end and just a few months after announcing he would not seek reelection in 2024. His departure narrows the already slim Republican majority in the House to just five seats: 218 to 213 with three vacancies, meaning the GOP can only lose two votes and still pass legislation

Shortly after announcing his abrupt resignation, Buck appeared on CNN, where he told Dana Bash that he plans to leave Congress in order to pursue reform to the nation’s electoral system. “We’ve gotta find better candidates and bring America together,” he said.

“Instead of having decorum, instead of operating in a professional manner, this place has just devolved into this bickering and nonsense and not really doing the job for the American people,” he added, noting that whether or not former President Donald Trump is the Republican nominee in November he this “our system is broken in how we chose candidates and I want to get involved in that process.”

House leadership was not aware that Buck would be announcing his resignation on Tuesday, with Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) telling Punchbowl News that he was “surprised by Ken’s announcement,” and was looking “forward to talking to him about that.”

Buck’s resignation will trigger a special election in Colorado’s 4th cDistrict, which borders the seat of MAGA Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.). Earlier this year Boebert — facing a tough electoral challenge in her own district — announced her intent to run in Colorado’s 4th. Buck’s resignation puts Boebert in a tight spot. If she declines to run in the special election, she may cripple her own ability to pull off a November win in the district, as someone newly elected will occupy the spot and be in a good position to hold it.

Regardless of what Boebert chooses to do, Buck’s departure is sending shockwaves through the House of Representatives, and the ever-eroding Republican majority is now hanging on by the slimmest of threads.

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