Ken Buck Is The First Republican To Sign The Democrats’ Petition For Ukraine Help


Rep. Ken Buck became the first Republican to sign the House Democrats’ aid discharge position on Thursday, just one day before retiring from Congress.

The discharge petition, filed by House Democrats earlier this month, seeks to force consideration of a $95 million foreign aid package passed by the Senate, which includes $60 billion in aid for Ukraine.

The petition, sponsored by Rep. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.), had 188 signatures as of Thursday, according to House clerk data. It takes 218 signatures to force consideration.

Democrats argue that the discharge petition is the most expedient way to provide help to Ukraine, while financing for the war-torn country remains blocked due to congressional disagreements.

Last month, the Senate enacted a foreign aid package 70-29, with 22 Republicans voting in favor of the legislation. When it was delivered to the House, Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) refused to examine it because it lacked harsher safeguards for the US-Mexico border.

If the petition collects enough signatures, Democrats will be able to overcome Johnson’s objection to the Senate plan and bring it to the floor, where they expect it to succeed with more than 300 votes.

Buck also signed Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick’s (R-Pa.) competing discharge petition, which already had GOP signatures. This petition would force a vote on a bigger Ukraine deal that includes the border provisions sought by House Republicans. It had 16 signatures as of Thursday.

Buck is resigning on Friday, but his name will remain on the petition until a successor is elected. Colorado Gov. Jared Polis (D) announced last week that a special election to fill his seat will likely coincide with the state’s primary election on June 25. If his successor likewise signs the petition, Buck’s name will be deleted.

The move is a huge setback for Johnson and other GOP members, who have insisted on border security measures as a condition for providing additional help to Ukraine.

It comes only days after the Colorado Republican was booted from the conservative House Freedom Caucus. One Freedom Caucus member told The Hill that he was expelled because he was not in “good standing” as a member and had not attended the group’s sessions “in months.”

Buck, 65, has repeatedly disagreed with the GOP on a wide range of issues in recent years. When he announced his departure from Congress last October, he cited Republicans’ election denialism and the assumption that the 2020 presidential election was stolen.

A Freedom Caucus member, who asked anonymity to discuss the party’s internal operations, stated that Buck was kicked out of the caucus because “he hasn’t been with conservatives on several major issues.”

The member also mentioned Buck’s upcoming retirement, which they stated would leave the conference “hanging with a historically narrow margin.”

His resignation schedule was accelerated earlier this month when he stated he would leave Congress on Friday, rather than at the conclusion of his term, as he had previously announced last autumn. His resignation will reduce the House GOP majority by one, leaving 218 Republicans and 213 Democrats.

Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.), who is running for Buck’s seat in Colorado’s 4th Congressional District, criticized Buck’s discharge signature.

“I’m one of his last acts as a Congressman, Ken Buck signed on to the Democrat discharge petition to give Ukraine even more of your money!” Boebert wrote on X, which was once known as Twitter. “It’s odd, because I’ve been traveling all around the Fourth District and have yet to see the section that borders Kyiv. It makes sense that he’s also trying to help Ukraine First’s candidate in my election.”

“I have an extra copy of ‘Drain The Swamp,’ would be a good read for him!” she told me. “Then again…” It appears that he has gone too far and forgotten who he was intended to be.

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