Windsor’s Rep. Ken Buck blasts fundraising culture of Washington
April 14, 2017
About the Book
Rep. Ken Buck’s “Drain the Swamp: How Washington Corruption is Worse Than You Think,” was published this week by conservative book publisher Regnery Publishing. According to the publisher’s description: “Buck names names and tells incredible true stories about what really happened behind closed doors in Congress during legislative battles that have ensued over the last two years including budget, continuing resolutions, omnibus, trade promotion authority, Iran, and more.” The book is available from Amazon and Barnes and Noble, among other sellers.
WASHINGTON — In a speech tied to the release of his new tell-all book, Rep. Ken Buck, R-Colo., Thursday criticized the way his party raises money for elections — alleging that lawmakers must drum up $200,000 or more in campaign cash to serve on influential U.S. House committees.
"One of the things that I found startling when I got here was that you have to pay dues to be on a committee," said Buck, a second-term Republican from Windsor, in remarks delivered at the conservative Heritage Foundation.
The money or in-kind help, he added, goes straight to the National Republican Congressional Committee — a fundraising arm of the GOP — and the fee structure is based on the importance of the House panel.
"So you pay dues to a private, partisan organization to serve in the government," he said.
The NRCC did not respond with comment.
Buck's criticism is neither new nor limited to Republicans — Democrats have a similar system in place for their lawmakers.
Officially, these dues are not mandatory — nor does everyone pay them — and the parties' fundraising groups have no formal say in who serves on what committee. But lawmakers in both parties have complained about the pressure and influence.
For Buck, the broadside is the latest turn in his on-again, off-again feud with House leaders — a tussle that once nearly cost him the honorary title of president of the Republican freshman class, but one that could help him sell a few extra copies of "Drain the Swamp," his new book that went on sale this month.
Buck also serves as a low-level officer with the NRCC.
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