A Black House Republican member believes he is being blocked from joining the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) as one of only two Black Republicans in the House.
Florida GOP Rep. Byron Donalds is looking to join the CBC. He believes that his perspective could be beneficial for the caucus.
Harrison Fields, Donalds’ communications director, says that the congressman is getting the cold shoulder from the caucus.
Donalds’ office said he believes he is being turned away from the group due to his political party.
“The sad reality is although the Congressman and those in the CBC share the same race, the (R) behind his name disqualifies him from membership today,” Fields said.
“I’ve actually expressed interest in joining. I think having a wider range of discussions from all sides of the political framework is important not just for Black Americans, but all America,” Donalds told CNN’s Brianna Keiliar.
An anonymous source told BuzzFeed News that the caucus is blocking Donalds’ caucus membership.
Asked if the caucus was indeed blocking Donalds, who voted to challenge last year’s election results in states Donald Trump lost and has supported Republican efforts to change voting laws since the election, a spokesperson suggested he didn’t share the group’s values — while not mentioning his name.
“The Congressional Black Caucus remains committed to fighting for issues that support Black communities, including the police accountability bill, protecting voting rights, and a jobs bill that helps our communities.”
“We will work with those who share our values and priorities for the constituents we serve.”
Keilar asked Donalds if his support of former President Donald Trump conflicts with the caucus’ goals.
Donalds said his support of Trump’s voter fraud claims was “irrelevant” and having “nothing to do with this discussion.”
“This is whether the ideology of somebody who is conservative is welcome to the Congressional Black Caucus,” he said.
Only four Black Republican lawmakers have gained membership in the Congressional Black Caucus since it was founded in 1971.