(The Center Square) – After voting to remove House of Representatives Speaker Kevin McCarthy, Colorado’s Rep. Ken Buck predicted the House will have a replacement by next Wednesday – and he’s not throwing his hat in the ring.
“I am confident that by the end of Wednesday we will have a speaker and we will start working on appropriations bills,” said Buck, the Republican representing the state’s 4th Congressional District, during an interview with the BBC on Tuesday.
Buck added he would not run for speaker.
“I would not even vote for myself for speaker,” Buck said. “So I doubt I would get any votes if my name was put in. I do believe there are a number of good people, people who are popular, people who have worked very hard from around the country, congressmen out in their districts. Those folks will run for speaker and I’m sure we will have a very qualified speaker in the near future.”
Buck said Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La., is probably the next in line to become speaker. Scalise and Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, both said on Wednesday they’ll run for speaker, The Center Square reported.
Buck was one of eight Republicans and the only GOP member from Colorado to join House Democrats in voting 216-210 to remove McCarthy.
“The major problem we’ve had is that we have to pass 12 appropriations bills and we have, up until last week, passed one appropriations bill,” Buck said. “We passed three last week. The promise from the speaker, when he became speaker, was that we would pass 12 by Sept. 30, negotiate with the Senate and have a package ready for the president. That didn’t happen, and I think a lot of people were frustrated over that.”
Many Republicans criticized Buck and the GOP members who voted with Democrats to remove McCarthy, stating they lacked conservative principles.
“I think there’s a lot of frustration in our conference at this point,” Buck said. “A lot of that frustration that is building has been building up for the last nine months.”
Rep. Yadira Caraveo, a Democrat representing the 8th District, was the only Colorado Democrat to release a statement on the vote.
“From the first day of this congress, Mr. McCarthy has wrought chaos on our nation’s Capitol,” Caraveo said. “He secured the speakership only after 15 rounds of votes and backroom deals. And he has spent the past nine months filling normally bipartisan packages with poison pills and letting a few extreme members hijack our work in Congress.”
Buck predicted the House will be better able to perform under new leadership.
“We will move forward and move forward in a way that, in my opinion, will make this country stronger and those that believe in freedom around the world stronger,” Buck said.