Society

GOP Congressman: 'The Republican Party Is Dead'

| by Jordan Smith
Ken BuckKen Buck

A Republican congressman from Colorado has come to a stark conclusion about the state of the GOP.

"The Republican Party is dead," Rep. Ken Buck wrote in an op-ed for the Denver Post. "... Republicans carried a strong vision and values into unified government six months ago. We championed principles like limited government, job creation, border security and budget balancing. We promised to repeal Obamacare, enact tax reform and roll back burdensome federal regulations. But what have we done?"

Buck argued that the Republicans need someone to bring the country together, but that instead the party has individuals who are distracting the country with "frivolities."

"Immigration reform is talked about more on Fox News than it is on the House floor," he added.

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Dick Wadhams, former chairman of the Colorado Republican Party, agreed that the GOP faces challenges.

"I think there's a great deal of frustration in the party," he told the Post. "The brutal truth is that Republicans across the nation campaigned on repealing and replacing Obamacare. It would be hard to find a Republican candidate in the last seven years that didn't talk about that issue and use those very words."

But Wadhams disagreed with Buck on his diagnosis of the state of the party.

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"I think it's way premature to write off the party," he added.

Wadhams said he believes the Republicans will still manage to repeal Obamacare before the end of the year.

Frustration has been visible among House Republicans following the Senate's July 27 failure to pass an Obamacare-repeal bill.

"A lot of us here in the House were gearing up again to do the hard work and try to make the mechanics and the dollars and the demographics work, and we wake up the next morning and the rug has been pulled out again by the Senate," Rep. David Schweikert told Real Clear Politics.

Brian Mast, a Republican representative from Florida, agreed.

"Right now, I think the Senate showed that they don't have the courage that they need, and they don't have the grit and determination, and they're absolutely handicapped," Mast added.

Speaking at the Republican House caucus meeting the day after the Senate vote, House Speaker Paul Ryan sought to emphasize the achievements Republicans have so far in 2017, including the repeal of Dodd-Frank financial regulations and passage of the American Health Care Act. He encouraged the representatives to point those actions out to constituents during the August recess.

Sources: Denver Post, Real Clear Politics / Photo credit: Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia Commons, Office of the Speaker/Wikimedia Commons, Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia Commons

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