Dem 51
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Two More House Members Are Retiring

Rep. Ken Buck (R-CO) is calling it quits. So is Rep. Kay Granger (R-TX). Buck has been bucking his party quite a bit of late. He is not an election denier and has castigated House Republicans for being so focused on 2020 and not 2024. He said: "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." This is not a message many House Republicans want to hear. Especially not the ones scared witless of Donald Trump.

Buck is not some kind of quasi-liberal. He is a member of the Freedom Caucus, but he still voted to certify Joe Biden's election. He voted against Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) but he did vote for Mike Johnson. He also opposes impeaching Joe Biden. His district, CO-04, covers nearly all of Colorado east of Denver. It is about a third of the state by area. Since it is R+13, some other Republican will simply take his place in 2025.

Granger is different. First of all, her first name isn't "Kay," it's "Norvell." She is the first Republican woman to represent Texas in the House. She is also 80 years old and tired of all the infighting among House Republicans. What is actually surprising is that she is giving up enormous power. She is chair of the House Appropriations Committee, you know, the group that decides how the federal government will spend $6 trillion or so every year. Most representatives would give their right arm for that job (especially those representatives who are left handed). She's had the position for only 10 months. When was the last time you heard of a politician who has been in the House for 26 years, has finally achieved one of the half-dozen most powerful positions in Congress, and then after 10 months announces she doesn't want it anymore?

Part of the problem is that time and time again she has been forced to capitulate to the Freedom Caucus on funding issues. She is a big supporter of Kevin McCarthy and doesn't like the FC at all. In fact, she was one of the representatives who helped tank Jim Jordan's bid for the speakership. Now with Mike Johnson as speaker, it is only going to get worse, although it is far from certain that he will last the year, let alone another 14 months. Her district almost encircles Fort Worth and extends for miles west of it. Its PVI is R+12, so it is a safe Republican seat. (V)

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