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  5. Ex-GOP Rep. Ken Buck says he wanted to leave Congress 'about three weeks' after he arrived: 'It took me a long time to figure out how to get out of this place'

Ex-GOP Rep. Ken Buck says he wanted to leave Congress 'about three weeks' after he arrived: 'It took me a long time to figure out how to get out of this place'

John L. Dorman   

Ex-GOP Rep. Ken Buck says he wanted to leave Congress 'about three weeks' after he arrived: 'It took me a long time to figure out how to get out of this place'
  • Onetime Rep. Ken Buck didn't have a very good impression of Capitol Hill upon his arrival in 2015.
  • Buck told The New York Times that he wanted out of Congress "about three weeks" into the role.

Former Rep. Ken Buck has not been shy about calling out what he says is the highly dysfunctional nature of Congress.

The Colorado Republican, who was first elected to the House in 2014 and resigned in March after declining to seek reelection this fall, has also been critical of the GOP in how they've handled their majority status in the lower chamber, recently telling The Washington Post that he got "more good work done" when Democrats were in charge.

And during an interview with the The New York Times, Buck — alongside 11 members of Congress retiring at the end of their terms — rattled off a list of why they were leaving the storied American institution.

But not even a month into his tenure in Congress, Buck revealed that he was already eyeing the exits.

"I knew it was time to leave about three weeks after I got to Congress. It just took me a long time to try to figure out how to get out of this place," the former congressman told the Times.

One of the biggest problems on Capitol Hill that the members — and Buck — identified in their interviews was the influence of money and special interest groups in politics.

"I was told at the beginning that I had to raise $250,000 if I wanted to be on certain committees. And if I wanted to be on more important committees — or committees with broader jurisdiction — I needed to raise even more money," the ex-congressman told the newspaper. "Buying a committee seat is not something that most Americans know that most members have to do."

Buck also said it was "very difficult" to maintain two residences on his $174,000 salary, noting that his compensation was significantly higher than what many of his one-time constituents earn each year.




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