Black Caucus mum on Tea Party Republican who wants 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."

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"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 in 2003.

The New York Times has reported that Scott hasn't yet decided whether he'll join the CBC.


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