Congressional Black Caucus on Allen West Saying He’ll Join Group: No Comment…Update: CBC Will Accept GOP Members, West Reiterates Pledge to Join…
The Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) is staying silent about a Tea Party Republican’s bid to join the group.
Rep.-elect Allen West (R-Fla.) indicated last week he intends to join the CBC to challenge the group’s “monolithic voice.”
“I plan on joining, I’m not gonna ask for permission or
whatever, I’m gonna find out when they meet and I will be a member of
the Congressional Black Caucus,” West, one of two black
Republicans elected to Congress last Tuesday, told WOR radio. “I meet
all of the criteria, and it’s so important that we break down this
monolithic voice that continues to talk about victimization and
dependency in the black community.
“We’ve got to turn this thing around, and I think it’s time for some different voices to be in that body politic.”
A CBC spokesperson on Monday declined to comment on West’s bid.
The CBC is currently made up of 41 House members and outgoing Sen. Roland Burris (Ill.) — all Democrats.
West and Congressman-elect Tim Scott (R-S.C.) are the first black
Republicans to win House seats since Rep. J.C. Watts (R-Okla.) retired
The New York Times has reported that Scott hasn’t yet decided whether he’ll join the CBC.
Update: This should be interesting…
Newly elected Florida Republican Allen West said he wants to join the
Congressional Black Caucus, and after days of silence the all-Democrat
body has reached a verdict: The CBC will welcome him.
In an e-mail to The Daily Caller this morning, CBC Chairwoman
Barbara Lee, California Democrat, wrote that both of the recently
elected African-American Republicans, West and South Carolina’s Tim
Scott, will be accepted if they decide to join.
“During the 40-year history of the Congressional Black Caucus there
have been three African-American Republican members of the House of
Representatives. Two, Congressmen Melvin Evans of the Virgin Islands
and Gary Franks of Connecticut, decided to join the Congressional Black
Caucus, however, Congressman J.C. Watts of Oklahoma did not,” Lee wrote.
She continued, “Membership in the Congressional Black Caucus has
never been restricted to Democrats. Should either of the two
African-American Republicans recently elected to the House of
Representatives request membership in the Congressional Black Caucus
they will be welcomed.”
Monday, West told CNN that he would absolutely join.
“I think I’m more than qualified. I am a congressmember-to-be, and I
am black, so I think that I have every right to be a member of the
Congressional Black Caucus,” he said. “Unless all the sudden before I
get there they decide to change the name.”
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