Utah Rep. Mia Love, who recently became the first black female Republican ever elected to Congress, joined the Congressional Black Caucus, according to a Tuesday announcement — potentially bad news for the group.
Love, the former mayor of Saratoga Springs, has stated that she would likely join the CBC but would attempt drastic change from within the group, which tends to lean to the left.
“Yes, yes. I would join the Congressional Black Caucus and try to take that thing apart from the inside out,” Love told Deseret News in early 2012 during her first congressional bid, which failed.
“It’s demagoguery,” Love said of the tactics used by the CBC.
“They sit there and ignite emotions and ignite racism when there isn’t,” Love continued. “They use their positions to instill fear. Hope and change is turned into fear and blame. Fear that everybody is going lose everything and blaming Congress for everything instead of taking responsibility.”
Last year, Love, whose recent run at Congress was noted for being more moderate than her previous campaign, reiterated her plan to join the CBC.
“I think I will,” Love told Roll Call of joining the group, which will be led by North Carolina Democratic Rep. G.K. Butterfield. “I will consider joining because I think that in order to affect change, you can’t do it from the outside in.”
“You have to do it from the inside out. I’m going to see if I can make a difference there,” the 39-year-old Love continued.
Notably absent from the CBC’s new membership list was Texas Republican Rep. Will Hurd. He joins past black Republican House members, such as former Oklahoma Rep. J.C. Watts and former Rep. and current Sen. Tim Scott, in declining to join the CBC.
Three Republicans have previously joined the CBC. Virgin Islands Rep. Melvin Evans, Connecticut Rep. Gary Franks and Florida Rep. Allen West.
During his tenure, Franks complained that the CBC frequently dissolved into a Democratic-only meeting from which he was excluded.