House freshman class president on verge of being ousted

Rep. Ken BuckKenneth (Ken) Robert BuckHouse GOP urge Trump against supporting additional funding for state and local governments House Judiciary Committee calls on Bezos to testify as part of antitrust probe The Hill's 12:30 Report: White House slams media amid disinfectant firestorm MORE (R-Colo.), the House freshman class president, might be the next conservative targeted for opposing House GOP leadership initiatives.

Buck, who was elected by his fellow freshmen late last year, will likely be stripped of his title as class president.


A notice obtained by The Hill that went out to chiefs of staff late Tuesday night said Reps. Mimi WaltersMarian (Mimi) Elaine WaltersFormer GOP Rep. Walters joins energy company GOP plots comeback in Orange County Crazy California an outlier? No, we are the canary in the coal mine MORE (R-Calif.) and Elise StefanikElise Marie StefanikBipartisan House bill seeks to improve pandemic preparedness The Hill's Coronavirus Report: Mastercard CEO Ajay Banga says supporting small business single most important thing we should do now; Teva's Brendan O'Grady says U.S. should stockpile strategic reserve in drugs like Strategic Oil Reserve House GOP to launch China probes beyond COVID-19 MORE (R-N.Y.), who are both close to leadership, have scheduled an “important freshman class meeting” Thursday at 8:30 a.m.

The notice did not state a specific purpose for the meeting, but Walters confirmed it will be about discussing new leadership for the class of lawmakers elected in 2014.

“A majority of the freshman class has expressed concerns I share regarding the leadership of our class President. In addition to regular business, tomorrow, we will also be discussing the direction of future leadership,” Walters, the freshman liaison to leadership, said in a statement.

A spokeswoman for Buck believes the ousting “is a form of retribution for his vote against ObamaTrade.”

Buck told reporters he was approached by a freshman colleague Tuesday night, informing him that they had the votes to remove Buck as president, and urged him to step down.

"I said I was not going to resign, and he said, 'Well, then we're going to call a meeting,' " Buck said. A few hours later, Walters' chief of staff sent out an email asking for freshman members to gather Thursday morning.

"Mimi Walters is the freshmen representative to leadership and she's decided to take this action," Buck said. "Given the circumstances of a number of members being kicked off the whip team, and a member being removed from a subcommittee chair position, it is clear that leadership has decided there's going to be retaliation."

Buck voted against the procedural motion to bring up the package of trade legislation on the floor two weeks ago, joining 33 other Republicans in doing so.

Three other Republicans who voted against the trade rule — Reps. Trent Franks (Ariz.), Cynthia Lummis (Wyo.) and Steve Pearce (N.M.) — were removed from the House GOP whip team. Another conservative, Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), was stripped of his Oversight subcommittee gavel for voting against the rule.

Buck, who is a member of the House Freedom Caucus, frequently votes with other conservative lawmakers. However, he did vote to reelect Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio) as Speaker in January and he pays dues to the National Republican Congressional Committee.

But some freshmen believe he isn’t the best fit to be the president of their class anymore.

"A significant number of freshmen feel his leadership has been inadequate," said one freshman GOP lawmaker. 

- Updated at 3:04 p.m.