by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
In a continuation of the historically Democratic group’s complicated history with black Republicans, members of the Congressional Black Caucus are at odds with Rep. Byron Donalds over whether they have excluded him.
Donalds, a black Florida Republican, said he was snubbed by the caucus of black lawmakers. Longtime members, including former CBC chair Rep. G.K. Butterfield, a North Carolina Democrat, deny Donalds’s membership was ever brought up in the first place.
“We haven’t even discussed it. We haven’t been here. We’ve been out for the last three weeks. We’ve been tied up with other stuff, and I’m sure it will be discussed very soon,” Butterfield told the Washington Examiner. “I can say emphatically, his interest was not rejected … I’ve been at every meeting, and we have not discussed him, and we have taken no action.”
Donalds said he is not buying it.
“Congressman Donalds has expressed interest in joining the CBC since becoming a member of the 117th Congress and has mentioned that directly to Congresswoman Joyce Beatty and several other CBC members early on,” Donalds’s spokesman Harrison Fields said in a statement to the Washington Examiner Monday night. “Our staff has also reached out on multiple occasions, and we have yet to get a response. Consideration of membership seems not to have included freshman member Congressman Donalds but juxtaposed to the six newly inducted Democrats.”
Some CBC members implied Donalds would not be welcome.
“Why does he want to be there?” Rep. Maxine Waters, a California Democrat, told the Washington Examiner. “Why? He disagrees with everything we stand for. Why does he want to be there?”
“I don’t get it,” she added. “He doesn’t like us. He doesn’t like what we do. He voted to not accept the electoral votes. I don’t know why he wants to be there. It’s the wrong place.”