A black freshman Republican from Florida said Thursday that the Congressional Black Caucus had pushed back efforts to join the group.
“The Congressional Black Caucus is committed to ensuring that black Americans have the opportunity to realize the American dream. As a newly elected black member of Congress, my political party should not exempt me from a table seat dedicated to achieving this goal, ”Representative Byron Donalds told NBC News in an email Thursday. following a report in BuzzFeed that he was barred from joining the influential group.
When asked if the caucus was indeed blocking Donalds, who voted to challenge last year’s election results in states lost to Donald Trump and supported Republicans’ efforts to change election laws since the election, a spokesperson suggested he did not share the group’s values - not to mention 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 an Jobs Bill that helps our communities.” , said the spokesperson. “We will work with those who share our values. and priorities for the constituents we serve.
Donalds told CNN he would bring value to the 56-member group, which is officially non-partisan but has only had a handful of Republican lawmakers since its founding in 1971.
“I think it’s important to have a wider range of discussions from all sides of the political framework. Not just for black America, but for all of America,” Donalds told the network, while dismissing his support for Trump’s election fraud allegations as “irrelevant” and having “nothing to do with this discussion.”
“It’s a question of whether the ideology of someone conservative is welcome in the Congressional Black Caucus. It really is that simple,” he continued.
The other black Republican in the House, Burgess Owens of Utah, is also not a member of the group.
A representative for Donalds said he had been trying to join the group for months.
“Since the start of Congress, our office and the Congressman have engaged with several CBC members expressing interest in joining, but all we have is the cold shoulder,” his spokesperson said. word. “The sad reality is that although the congressman and those in the CBC share the same race, the (R) behind his name disqualifies him today.”
Donalds’ office also noted that he had sponsored several bipartisan bills, but a number of House Democrats have vowed not to work with Republicans who backed Trump’s false allegations of electoral fraud.