WASHINGTON (AP) — The Congressional Hispanic Caucus rejected the request of Republican Rep. Carlos Curbelo to join its ranks on Thursday, saying his record is inconsistent with the group's values.
Florida's Curbelo, who is serving his second term, said the rejection "sends a powerful and harmful message of discrimination, bigotry and division." He also took to Twitter over the dispute: "Whatever happened to the values of diversity and inclusion? Truly shameful."
In announcing the decision, caucus spokesman Carlos Paz Jr. said: "The CHC isn't just an organization for Hispanics; it is a caucus that represents certain values. This vote reflects the position of many of our members that Rep. Curbelo and his record are not consistent with those values."
The statement did not go into any more detail. Curbelo voted for the GOP tax bill Thursday that all Democratic lawmakers voted against. He's also the lead sponsor of an immigration bill that's different from the Democratic-preferred measure.
The Congressional Hispanic Caucus has 31 members, all Democrats. Meanwhile, six Republicans are part of a separate organization, the Congressional Hispanic Foundation.
Curbelo represents a district in South Florida that is about 70 percent Hispanic and is considered competitive in next year's midterm elections.