Republican Florida Rep. Byron Donalds is reportedly being blocked from joining the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC).
“Since starting in Congress, our office and the Congressman have engaged with several CBC members expressing his interest in joining, but all we’ve gotten is the cold shoulder,” Donalds’ Communications Director, Harrison Fields, told the Daily Caller. The CBC is denying Donalds entrance, individuals familiar with the caucus’s plans reportedly told Buzzfeed News.
NEW: The Congressional Black Caucus is blocking Rep. Byron Donalds, a Black Republican from Florida, from joining the caucus. https://t.co/gv15lZXIhq
— Kadia Goba (@kadiagoba) June 9, 2021
Donalds is one of two black Republicans in the House of Representatives. Utah Rep. Burgess Owens, who is also black, told the Wall Street Journal in October 2020 that he would not seek membership into the CBC. Republican South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott did not join when he served in the House. (RELATED: Sen. Tim Scott Responds To Racist Attacks: ‘They Are Literally Attacking The Color Of My Skin’)
“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 added.
“Rep. Donalds came to Washington to build relationships and work together with any member willing and able. Since taking office, he’s engaged in several bipartisan bills. He even sponsored a water bill with Democrats Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Charlie Crist of Florida as co-sponsors. In addition, when serving in the Florida House as the sole Black Republican, he joined the Black Caucus hoping to find the potential opportunities to find common ground. His intention as a U.S. Congressman is the same.”
The CBC has been composed entirely of Democrats since Republican Utah Rep. Mia Love lost her bid for reelection in 2018.
Democratic Ohio Rep. Joyce Beatty, the chairwoman of the CBC, did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller’s request for comment.
Former Republican Florida Rep. Carlos Curbelo was denied entry into the Congressional Hispanic Caucus in 2017 after the caucus determined that his political positions were not “consistent” with their “values.”