Florida Rep. Allen West (R) said he's unsure whether the District of Columbia should be a state, but suggested its residents be excluded from paying federal taxes.

"I have seen the license plates that say there should be no taxation without representation," West told the website blackvoicesnews.com.

"I have to do more research on the issue. The District of Columbia was designed to be the home base of the federal government, so I would have to see what the Constitution says.

“If you live in the District, perhaps an exclusionary zone should be set up where District residents do not pay federal taxes,” he added.

West, who was one of two African-American Republicans elected to the House last year, said he hopes to make the GOP more appealing to black voters.

"We need to open up the conversation because blacks cannot expect to have power in this country when they vote 90 percent Democratic," he said.

"You cannot put all of your trust in one political party. I know that blacks will not change overnight or become Republicans in large numbers overnight, but we have to have the conversation about this."