WASHINGTON—A Black House Republican is being blocked from joining the Congressional Black Caucus, The Black Chronicle has learned.
The congressman being blocked is one of two Black Republicans in the House of Representatives.
U.S. Rep. Byron Donalds (Rep., Fla.) and his staff have reached out to members of the caucus multiple times, but Congressman Donalds’ spokesman Harrison Fields said in a statement that “all we’ve got is the cold shoulder.”
A source said the caucus was blocking the Florida congressman’s membership.
A Donalds spokesman said the congressman is being turned away because of his party affiliation.
“The sad reality is although the congressman and those in the caucus share the same race, the ‘R’ behind his name disqualifies him from membership today,” Mr. Fields said.
A spokesman for the caucus did not respond directly to the allegation that the caucus is blocking Congressman Donalds from joining but said in a statement that the group “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,” the caucus spokesman added.
A Donalds spokesman pointed to his bipartisan efforts in Congress and willingness to engage with the caucus. Mr. Fields said Donalds had joined the Black caucus in Florida when he served in the Florida House and that his “intention as a congressman is the same.”
The caucus has no Republican members, but other Republican lawmakers have joined in the past.
U.S. Rep. Burgess Owens (Rep., Utah), the only other Black Republican currently serving in the House, said during his campaign that he did not plan to join the caucus.