Rep.-elect West plans to join Congressional Black Caucus

Congressman-elect Allen West (R-Fla.) said he plans to join the Congressional Black Caucus next year.

West, one of two black Republicans elected to Congress in Tuesday's midterm elections, said he plans to join the Democratic-dominated bloc to challenge, in West word's, the CBC'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 and I think 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," West said on the WOR radio network.

"We've got to turn this thing around, and I think it's time for some different voices to be in that body politic," he added.

West hasn't been shy about giving grief to President Obama, the nation's first black president, on issues of race. West accused the president of exploiting race for political purposes after his administration decided not to prosecute members of the New Black Panther Party on allegations of voter intimidation in the 2008 election.

Congressman-elect Tim Scott (S.C.), the other black Republican candidate elected Tuesday, has not decided whether to join the caucus, according to The New York Times.

West and Scott are the first black Republicans in the House since Rep. J.C. Watts (R-Okla.) retired in 2003.

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