Texas Republican says she was denied membership in Hispanic Caucus

Texas GOP Rep. Mayra Flores on Wednesday revealed she was denied admission to the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC), originally founded as a bipartisan grouping of Latino members of Congress. 

In a tweet, Flores said the CHC’s denial “shows the true bias towards the first Mexican-born Congresswoman in U.S. history.” 

Sebastian Roa, a spokesman for the CHC, responded that the CHC’s bylaws have been changed to only allow Democrats. 

“In 2003, led by Rep. [Mario] 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’s bylaws changed after another Republican, former Florida Rep. Carlos Curbelo, applied for membership to the group in 2017 and was rejected. 

Unlike the relatively summary dismissal of Flores’s application, Curbelo’s process dragged on and was ultimately denied after CHC members voted it down. 

At the time, Díaz-Balart (R-Fla.) told The Hill that bipartisan membership in a caucus like the CHC could present obstacles. 

“The reality is, just from what I’ve heard, well, they might accept Carlos but then they’re going to have to throw him out when they’re dealing with partisan issues,” Diaz-Balart told The Hill in 2017. “I don’t have a problem with that, but the reality is that, in essence, that’s why there’s been two and why they’re partisan.” 

Díaz-Balart and a group of Cuban American Republicans split from the Congressional Hispanic Caucus in 2003 to form the Congressional Hispanic Conference, amid disagreements over caucus leadership views on policy toward Cuba. 

While the caucus has a larger membership than the conference, GOP Hispanic representation has grown over the past few election cycles, and with it the conference’s political presence. 

In December, Rep. Tony Gonzales (R-Texas) was named vice chair of the conference, joining Díaz-Balart to lead the group. 

In May, Hispanic Conference leaders announced the launch of the Hispanic Leadership Trust, a PAC designed to protect conference incumbents and to elect more Republican Hispanics to Congress. 

According to the Congressional Hispanic Conference website, the group currently has nine members. 

Flores, who took office in June, is not listed as a member, and a representative for Flores did not immediately respond to a question regarding her membership in the conference. 

Tags Carlos Curbelo CHC Congressional Hispanic Caucus Congressional Hispanic Conference GOP Hispanic representation Hispanic Republicans Mayra Flores Tony Gonzales Tony Gonzales
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