A surprise resignation in Congress leaves the GOP with the slimmest possible majority in the House of Representatives

Representative Ken Buck (R-CO) announced that he will leave his seat on March 22, which will lower the number of Republicans to 218. "It’s gonna make it tough. I wish he could’ve waited," said one of his colleagues.

Although far from the ‘red wave’ predicted by the polls, the Republicans managed to recover the House of Representatives in the 2022 midterm elections. Led by Kevin McCarthy, who later was named Speaker of the House, the GOP won a limited majority of 223 members of Congress against 213 Democrats. Months after returning to the polls, that majority has become even slimmer, to the point that it can almost not be any slimmer.

Since then, the death of a few members and some early retirements, including McCarthy himself, saw the figure from 223 drop to 219 as of early March. However, now there is the surprise resignation of Ken Buck (R-CO), who announced that he will leave his seat on March 22.

With this new vacancy, President Mike Johnson (R-LA) will now have only 218 representatives, the thinnest majority possible, making advancing legislation even more difficult.

Buck completely blindsided Johnson, who left a message on his answering machine just 30 minutes after he made his decision public.

“Johnson told reporters Tuesday that he didn’t know about Buck’s departure plans shortly after the announcement, noting he is looking forward to talking to the Colorado Republican. A Buck spokesperson told POLITICO that Buck called Johnson about 30 minutes before the announcement went live and left a voicemail. The move caught many of Buck’s GOP colleagues by surprise,” POLITICO reported.

After a failed Senate race in 2010, the still congressman arrived in Washington DC in January 2015 to represent Colorado’s fourth district in the Lower House.

During his nine-year stay, he served on the Judiciary and Foreign Relations Committees, supporting former President Donald Trump’s agenda. In turn, he was one of two congressmen to vote against the $8.3 billion aid package to respond to the Coronavirus pandemic and one of eight Republicans who facilitated the removal of Kevin McCarthy as Speaker of the House.

“It has been an honor to serve the people of Colorado’s 4th District in Congress for the past 9 years. I want to thank them for their support and encouragement throughout the years. Today, I am announcing that I will depart Congress at the end of next week. I look forward to staying involved in our political process, as well as spending more time in Colorado with my family,” he wrote in a statement.

This place has just devolved into this bickering and nonsense,” continued the conservative, who also added that 2024 “is the worst year, in 40 50 years, to be in Congress.”

“It’s gonna make it tough; I wish he could’ve waited”

The hint of sincerity came from Congressman Don Bacon (R-NE), who regretted his colleague’s decision, given that now Republicans cannot afford to lose a single vote.