Amy Oliver Show, Ken Buck, January 7, 2014

Station:   KFKA, 1310 AM

Show:      Amy Oliver Show

Guests:    Buck


Date:       January 7, 2014


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GUEST HOST NANCY RUMFELT:  And so now we’re going to be talking with Representative Ken Buck. And what I’d like to start off with is saying to everybody, “Look, there’s always something more to the story.”  And that, you know, I personally know that politics is a brutal blood sport and that sometimes to win the war you have to be strategic.  So, I’m not quite ready to get out my pitchfork, yet.  But I do want, you know, — to Representative Buck, to help us understand how a vote for Boehner was strategic, and that when it comes time to push back against the Obama agenda, how will he do that, even if it means voting against Representative Boehner and the leadership. And I congratulate you, Representative Buck, for your big win, and I really appreciate your being willing to come on the show.  And so, with that, Ken Buck– Representative Buck, it is all yours.

U.S. REPRESENTATIVE KEN BUCK:  Well, first, Nancy, it’s Ken.  It has been in the past and I hope that it will be in the future.  But, you know, it was — let’s get some background. When I showed up in November for orientation, we had elections for Speaker and Majority Leader and others.  Nobody in the House, at that point, stood up and said, “I’d like to be Speaker.” The Freshmen that came back here don’t know many of the members who ran yesterday, and didn’t have any opportunity to learn much about them.  And so, the effort to become Speaker was a last minute effort.  It was poorly planned, poorly designed, and poorly executed. The two candidates who called me about forty hours before the vote, both — one of them [Ted Yoho] received two votes: his own vote and a vote from one other person.  And the other one received three votes: two votes from other people and his own vote.  There was one other candidate, Daniel Webster from Florida.  And Congressman Daniel Webster has a Heritage Action score of 60% and a  Freedom Works score of 63%.  And that is not the sort of conservative history that I’m looking for in voting for someone to vote against Speaker Boehner.  So, it was really a protest vote by individuals that were upset with the CRomnibus and upset with other issues that Speaker Boehner had been in favor of.  And I don’t have a problem with a protest vote, if I know more of what’s going on, and I have been here and learned really what’s behind the scenes.  And so, when I looked at my opportunities to serve on important committees and do important work for the 4th Congressional district, and looked at the downside of casting a protest vote, I felt it was not a well-designed plan and something I should get behind.  I have had opportunities to speak to the Speaker.  I’ve had opportunities to do certain functions in– with leadership that I’ve declined to do and I’ve turned down committee assignments because I don’t believe that I am going to be the vote that leadership is going to be able to count on in certain situations.  And I’ve tried to be very upfront with them.  But this plan was just not a good plan.

RUMFELT:  Right, well, and see, that’s the thing, Ken.  You know, as Robert and I were talking last night, there’s always more to the story.  And we were also talking about, it seemed that maybe — because there really wasn’t one stand-out person that was presented as an alternative — a strong alternative.  And so, as much as I dislike John Boehner, if I was in the same situation — brand new — and I’m just being honest and I’ll probably get some interesting Facebook messages from this–but, I don’t know if I would have cast a vote against, either, because, again, you know — like you said, it’s a protest vote.  I think if there would have been a strong alternative for everybody to rally behind, that would have made a difference.  And so — given that, though, I still think people want to know that as these things come before us — and there’s a lot of stuff that going to happen this next year, Ken– can they — and you know, I think they can– but can they count that when John Boehner has negotiated some crazy compromise with President Obama, will you cast the vote against that?

BUCK:  Well, I’m going to look at every vote on an individual basis. And the fact that President Obama is for something doesn’t make me against it, especially in the foreign policy area.  If he were to take a strong stand Russian or against Iran or against some area, I’m certainly not going to vote, just because President Obama is for something.

RUMFELT:  Right.

BUCK:  But I absolutely will not compromise my core principles.  But, Nancy, let me make one more point, if I can.  The people that also voted for Speaker Boehner — Mick Mulvaney from South Carolina had a 91% Heritage Action score, Jim Jordan [had] 90%, Raul Labrador [had] 82%, Trey Gaudy [had] 87%.   And Trey didn’t vote, but said that if he had voted, that’s how he would have voted.  He HeHeHED was caught in a snowstorm.  Trent Franks [had] 96%.  Tom McClintock [had] 90%.  Matt Salmon, Jeb Hensling — all people that conservatives across this country respect and look up to.  And they saw through this plan and decided not to vote.  And this effort fell eleven votes short. It’s not as if Ken Buck had voted for something, it would have passed, and my ability to get important conservative legislation passed would have been hindered for no good purpose.

RUMFELT:  […] Right.  So, again, I guess I’ll circle back.  So, again, and I’m not expecting — you know, I don’t think people expect you to vote against everything that President Obama proposes just because it’s President Obama.  I think what people are looking for, though, is if Speaker Boehner crafts some compromise on amnesty or spending that really goes against many of these limited government principles and so forth, will you cast the vote against that compromise, even though Speaker Boehner will be pressuring you to vote for it?

BUCK:  Absolutely.  And the Speaker and the leadership team know that they cannot count on me when they move to the middle, that I will be voting against leadership’s efforts in certain areas.  And it especially is true when it comes to the fiscal issues, the appropriations bills, and the regulatory issues, and I include Obamacare in that.  But absolutely, the people in the Fourth Congressional District can count on Ken Buck to be with the conservative votes when it comes to the bills that are coming up in the future.

RUMFELT:  Okay, that’s fair!  And I think that really, what we have to do right now, Ken, is just like we do with all the other elected officals –just really watch and see, do — you know, do your words match up with your actions.  And I think that’s the fair approach.  And so, what I would also — you know, you still have some time, here, — is then, what are the things that you would like to try to push through in your first year in office, that you think you can get pushed through, you know, even with Speaker Boehner in the leadership role?

BUCK:  I don’t see Boehner as trying to stop the things I’m trying to accomplish

[The following represents notes taken during this interview.]


  • Regulatory reform
    • I’ve heard about the EPA burdens placed on my constituents
    • IRS burdens
    • OSHA burdens
    • So many other agencies
    • I think it’s a crime that the Army Corps has wasted 10 years in not approving the Northern Integrative Supply Project application
    • Same with Chatfield, held up for 18 years
    • We must find ways of not allowing the fed. Gov. to hold up progress in important water projects and other important areas
    • Republicans in both houses will take up important things on:
      • Obamacare
      • Energy policy (Keystone pipeline should be passed out of house by end of next week, I think it will pass the Senate, and it will be difficult for the pres to chose what to do with the bills sent to him by Congress)
      • Tax reform
      • Yeah, he’ll actually have to veto!
        • Exactly
        • And he will
        • And it will define his presidency
        • If we had gotten into a leadership battle, it would have taken months (5 or t6) to work its way through the system and we would have lost that time while we control the House and Senate
        • We need to get right to work, roll up our sleeves and send bills to the senate
        • Lots weren’t happy with passing the Cromnibus bill, me included.  Budget work in the House, will it happen with enough advance time to give people time to see what’s really in it and pull out the pork?
          • It’s a great question
          • Most people don’t know
            • 7 out of 11 appropriations bills were passed out of the House and sent to Senate and Reid refused to address any of those appropriations bills
            • And that’s what caused the Cromnibus bill
              • It was created by that false crisis
              • Sure Boehner had a hand in crafting the Cromnibus,
              • But the pressure to pass came from the Senate obstructionism
              • Yeah, media sucks at reporting
              • But R Party could do a better job at getting their message out — using radio, FB, — get the info out to the people.
                • Yeah, I’m happy to talk to you at any point.
                • Want to get on all the radio shows
                • And do town hall meetings
                • Write op-eds, and guest columns in the newspapers
                • I want to face people.  And especially the people that thought they were being cute in putting ugly things on my Facebook.  You know, if you want to say something nasty to me, say it to my face.  Don’t put something on Facebook.  That –what happened yesterday was just a disgrace.  The people who voted — you know, go to Trey Gaudy’s town hall meeting and call him traitor.  Say that he committed treason.  It’s just ridiculous.  And yes, we voted for John Boehner.  We thought it was the best path forward, but it is not an act of treason.  And it’s just silly to use those terms.
                • Thank you for coming on the show this morning
                • There’s a National Review article that covers a lot of what Buck was saying this morning
                • We will be watching you closely
                • I wish you the best of luck.