Florida Rep. Byron Donalds won his first election to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2020. Donalds, a black lawmaker, has been asking to join the Congressional Black Caucus for months, but he hasn’t heard back from the group, BuzzFeed reported Wednesday night.
Donalds’ apparent problem? He’s a Republican.
Black Democratic members of Congress who won election in 2020 were inducted into the CBC six months ago, but Donalds was not included in the group.
According to BuzzFeed, Donalds has been trying to join the CBC, which purports to be a nonpartisan group of black lawmakers, but the organization has refused to respond to his requests. In fact, he made it clear to Politico back in February that he wanted to join the CBC.
“Obviously, the dominant voice in the CBC tends to be Democrat or liberal voices, and I want to bring change to that,” Donalds said, Politico reported.
“Yes, I’m a conservative Republican, but I think in the Black community, we have a wide range of political thought,” he added, according to Politico. “It doesn’t always get talked about, but it exists.”
The lack of response is due to the fact that the CBC is “blocking” Donalds’ membership, a source familiar with the group’s plans reportedly told BuzzFeed.
The lawmaker’s office told the outlet that Donalds has spoken with at least three CBC members about joining, but that he hasn’t received an answer and the odds of his becoming a CBC member don’t look good.
“Congressman Donalds has expressed interest in joining the CBC, but has yet to receive an official invitation,” a Donalds aide told BuzzFeed. “If given, he’d gladly accept.”
BuzzFeed said the CBC did not respond to questions about the status of Donalds’ membership or why he was not being let in.
According to the outlet, the “snub” is an example of the divide in Congress following the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol when a mob stormed the building during the certification of President Joe Biden’s Electoral College victory. Donalds voted against certifying Biden’s win:
Some Democrats have refused to partner with Republicans on legislation since the mob attack, especially if they voted against accepting the election results. Donalds was one of the Republicans who voted to deny Biden’s win.
The CBC currently has zero Republican members.