Conservative Republican who deposed McCarthy grills Jordan and Scalise about the 2020 election

‘They weren’t direct, they evaded the question,” Ken Buck tells reporters

Eric Garcia
Wednesday 11 October 2023 14:04 EDT
Steve Scalise thanks House Republican for nominating him for Speaker

A conservative Republican who voted to oust Kevin McCarthy grilled both of the Republican candidates for speaker about whether Preisdent Joe Biden won the 2020 presidential election of the House in a closed-door meeting.

Rep Ken Buck (R-CO), a member of the House Freedom Caucus, told reporters on Wednesday that he grilled Rep Jim Jordan (R-OH) and House Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-LA) about whether the 2020 presidential election was stolen.

Both Mr Jordan and Mr Scalise voted to overturn the 2020 presidential election results on January 6. Mr Buck voted to certify. Mr Buck said it was important to have clarity about such an important topic. Politico first reported Mr Buck’s question on Tuesday evening.

“They weren’t direct, they evaded the question,” Mr Buck told reporters. As a result, Mr Buck said that he voted “present” during the closed-door session to consider Mr Jordan and Mr Scalise.

Mr Buck, a conservative hardliner who initially backed Mr McCarthy in January, was one of seven Republicans who joined Rep Matt Gaetz and every Democrat on a motion to vacate the chair that deposed Mr McCarthy. He did so after Mr McCarthy cut a deal with Democrats to allow for a 48-day continuing resolution to pass as a means to keep the federal government open. Mr Buck was one of 90 Republicans who voted to do so.

House Republicans met in the Longworth House Office Building on Wednesday to begin the process of selecting a speaker. On Tuesday, Mr McCarthy told reporters he took himself out of the running and asked for members not to nominate him.

Conversely, Rep Chip Roy (R-TX), another member of the House Freedom Caucus, proposed an amendment that would have required a Republican nominee for House speaker to have the support of 217 of the 221 members of the House GOP conference. But Republicans voted to table the amendment.

House Democrats unanimously nominated Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries on Tuesday evening.

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