The first Mexican-born member of Congress has been barred from joining the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC). Rep. Mayra Flores, a Republican from Texas who shocked Washington with her upset win during the summer, “has been the leading caucus for Latino members because she is a Republican and membership is only reserved for Democrats.”
Townhall.com writes, according to those familiar with the situation, Flores requested to join CHC in early October and was rejected shortly thereafter. Flores is not only first Mexican-born woman to serve in Congress, but she also represents a district along the U.S.-Mexico border that is overwhelmingly Latino. CHC used to have Republicans members but they went on to create the Congressional Hispanic Conference as their own version of the CHC in the 2000s.
The CHC’s website websites states the Caucus “addresses national and international issues and crafts policies that impact the Hispanic community. The function of the Caucus is to serve as a forum for the Hispanic Members of Congress to coalesce around a collective legislative agenda.”
“As the first Mexican-born Congresswoman to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives, I thought joining the Congressional Hispanic Caucus would be a constructive way to build bridges and work in a bipartisan manner on behalf of our constituents. I was wrong. This denial once again proves a bias towards conservative Latinas that don’t fit their narrative or ideology,” Flores told Townhall.
The Washington Times stated, “The Hispanic Caucus currently consists of only Democratic House members of Hispanic descent. It currently has around 40 members. The group defended its Democrat-only policy by saying Ms. Flores held ‘extreme’ positions. They also said the group was Democrat-only after an intentional exit by Republicans in 2003.”
CHC spokesman Sebastian Roa said, “In 2003, led by Rep. Diaz Balart, GOP members split from the CHC to form the Congressional Hispanic Conference. Per our bylaws, the CHC is now for Democratic Members. Rep. Flores’ Extreme MAGA values and their attacks on Latinos and our nation’s democracy on January 6 do not align with CHC values.”
The CHC “was originally founded in 1976 as a bipartisan working group of Hispanic lawmakers in both chambers of Congress. But in the 1990s, differences over the U.S.’s Cuba policy led to a fissure between the group’s Republican and Democratic members,” notes the Texas Tribune.
The outlet continued, noting that Flores “campaigned heavily on disparaging Democrats as ignoring working Americans and neglecting the border. One of her first votes in Congress was against a bipartisan gun safety bill spearheaded by U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, after which she introduced an alternative gun bill filled with Republican talking points about IRS funding and critical race theory in schools.
Daniel Bucheli, a spokesperson for Flores, said the congresswoman is considering joining the Republican Congressional Hispanic Conference but added that ‘she believes working in a bipartisanship manner, in the representation of ALL constituents, is best.'”
This is not the first time that Democrats have determined someone’s race solely by who they vote for. In June, the Congressional Black Caucus blocked “membership to Rep. Byron Donalds, a Republican from Florida who has tried to join the organization, a source familiar with the CBC’s plans told BuzzFeed News.
It’s been six months since the members who won election in 2020 were inducted into the CBC, a powerful and nominally nonpartisan group of Black lawmakers in Congress. Donalds, who won election for the first time last year, has not been included in that group.
The caucus has a history with Black Republican members of Congress. Sen. Tim Scott, arguably the most powerful Black Republican lawmaker right now, declined an invitation from the group in 2010 when he was first elected to Congress as a member of the House of Representatives.
Donalds has talked openly about his interest in joining the CBC, telling Politico in February that he wanted to change the organization’s liberal dominance.”
Democrats have often seemed to believe they own the votes of minorities rather than needing to earn them. During the 2020 campaign, for example, Joe Biden sparked controversy when he told an African American radio host in New York,” ‘You’ve got more questions?’ Biden replied. ‘Well I tell you what, if you have a problem figuring out whether you’re for me or Trump, then you ain’t black.’
In August, New Conservative Post wrote about the turnover among African American staff at the White House. Politico reported, “At least 21 Black staffers have left the White House since late last year or are planning to leave soon. Some of those who remain say it’s no wonder why: They describe a work environment with little support from their superiors and fewer chances for promotion….The departures have been so pronounced that, according to one current and one former White House official, some Black aides have adopted a term for them: “Blaxit.”
The New York Post noted some especially disturbing comments from Biden staff “‘We’re here and we’re doing a lot of work but we’re not decision-makers and there’s no real path towards becoming decision-makers,’ one current staffer told the outlet. ‘There is no real feedback and there’s no clear path to any kind of promotions.'”
A different official said, “They brought in a ton of black people generally to start without ever establishing an infrastructure to retain them or help them be successful. If there is no clear infrastructure of how to be successful, you become just as invisible in this space than you would be if you were not in it.”
“People have not had the best experiences and a lot of that has to do with the death of black leadership,’ another staffer in the White House told the outlet. “Think about any workplace. Black folks need some person to go to, to strategize and be a mentor, and we just don’t have as many folks who can be mentors to us.”
During the 2019 Democratic primary, Kamala Harris implied that Joe Biden was a racist for working with segregationists during his time in the Senate and for opposing school busing.
The Washington Post recently reported that “heading into the primary election season, the National Republican Congressional Committee boasted that more than 80 Black Republicans were running to represent Americans in Washington. Although that number has dwindled to 28 as the nominating season has ended, GOP leaders hope this Election Day could be the start of a growing trend.
Republican leaders say the dissatisfaction with President Biden’s policies, combined with an electorate that says the Democratic Party is moving too far to the left, will lead voters to back more Black Republicans this fall. The party has experienced a small increase in support among Black voters in the past two election cycles and officials hope that will continue as more Black Americans — candidates and voters — seek an alternative to the Democratic Party.”
Recent polling showed 40 percent of Hispanics and 21 percent of Blacks are backing the Republican candidate in 2022, which one political commenter called “apocalypse for Democrats.”
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