Granger, Buck Opting Out of 2024 Reelection Bids
WASHINGTON — House Appropriations Chairwoman Kay Granger, R-Texas, and Rep. Ken Buck, R-Colo., announced in rapid fire fashion Wednesday that they’ve each decided to retire rather than run for reelection next year.
Granger’s announcement came first and was first reported by the Fort Worth Report, a nonprofit newsroom that covers her district, which consists largely of Fort Worth and suburbs to its north.
Her decision caps a political career that began in 1991, when she was elected Fort Worth’s first woman mayor.
She served two terms before becoming the first Republican woman to be elected to the U.S. House from Texas; in time, she became the first Republican woman to chair the Appropriations Committee.
“I have been able to accomplish more in this life than I could have imagined, and I owe it all to my incredible family, staff, friends and supporters,” Granger said in a statement posted to her website.
“It’s time for the next generation to step up and take the mantle and be a strong and fierce representative for the people,” she added.
She went on to say that she plans to serve out the remainder of her term and work with newly elected House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., “to advance our conservative agenda and finish the job I was elected to do.”
Though Granger’s pending retirement comes after a difficult three weeks for her party and her conference in the House, her district is reliably conservative and the seat is likely to remain in Republican hands.
Granger was among those in her conference who opposed the elevation of Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, to speaker, and she and other holdouts ultimately forced him to withdraw from the race.
She later threw her support behind Johnson.
A short time after Granger’s announcement, Buck announced he, too, plans to leave Congress after next year’s election.
He first made his intention known during an interview with MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell in which he blasted members of his party for “lying” about the 2020 election and the Jan. 6 siege on the Capitol.
Though he was one of the eight conservative members of the House who voted to oust former Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., Buck was unsatisfied with the initial choices of Jordan and House Majority Leader Steve Scalise, R-La.
In both cases he said he objected to their respective decisions to vote against certifying the 2020 election.
However, Buck did vote for the new speaker, despite the fact Johnson also voted against certification and filed an amicus brief in a lawsuit seeking to set aside electoral votes cast in favor of Joe Biden.
“I’m disappointed that the Republican Party continues to rely on this lie that the 2020 election was stolen,” he told Mitchell. “If we’re going to solve difficult problems, we’ve got to deal with some very unpleasant truths or lies, and make sure we project to the public what the truth is.”
In a video posted to X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter, Buck adopted a more folksy tone, but appeared to be just as angry.
After criticizing “the left” for attempting to defund the police, “politicizing student loans” and “provoking inflation with excessive spending,” he said concerned Amercians “are looking to Republicans in Washington for a course correction.”
“But their hope for Republicans to take decisive action may be in vain,” he said. “Our nation is on a collision course with reality, and a steadfast commitment to truth, even uncomfortable truths, is the only way forward.
“Too many Republican leaders are lying to America claiming that the 2020 election was stolen, describing Jan. 6 as an unguided tour of the Capitol, and asserting that the ensuing prosecutions are a weaponization of our justice system. These insidious narratives breed widespread cynicism and erode Americans’ confidence in the rule of law,” Buck said.
“It is impossible for the Republican Party to confront our problems and offer a course correction for the future, while being obsessively fixated on retribution, and vengeance for contrived injustices of the past,” he continued.
“This trend among Republicans is a significant departure from the enduring principles of conservatism,” Buck said. “We belong to the party of Abraham Lincoln and Ronald Reagan. Our movement has always been fueled by immutable truths about human nature, individual liberty, and economic freedoms. The Republican Party of today, however, is ignoring self-evident truths about the rule of law and limited government in exchange for self-serving lies.
“I made the decision to leave Congress because tough votes are being replaced by social media status. It’s time to stop feeding popular narratives and start addressing the long-term solutions.”
Buck closed by thanking his constituents for giving him the opportunity to serve them and the nation.
“I look forward to seeing you at the grocery store, and the high school football game,” he said.