WASHINGTON -- Republican Rep. Carlos Curbelo's bid to join the all-Democratic Congressional Hispanic Caucus is hitting a hurdle, stemming in part from the Miami Republican's decision not to co-sponsor an immigration bill with support from both sides of the aisle.
The caucus could discuss Curbelo's bid at its weekly meeting Thursday, a week after some members privately raised questions about his inclusion.
Caucus Chairwoman Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham, D-N.M., had predicted last week that members would easily extend an invite to Curbelo. But Rep. Raul Grijalva, D-Ariz. said Wednesday that members wanted more time to deliberate and seek further clarification about how it would work to have a Republican join the all-Democratic group.
“I don’t think the caucus should be anybody’s foil,” Grijalva said.
Curbelo is a top target for national Democrats eager to win his Democratic-leaning district in south Florida in 2018, but has insisted his bid to join the caucus is not politically motivated. He said he waited until after last year’s election to make the request.
Curbelo had asked to join the group that takes up issues of concern to the Hispanic community in February, but has claimed that Democrats are deliberately stalling his induction.
Lujan Grisham said she’s been positive about Curbelo’s potential membership, but acknowledged that “in this climate” some caucus members have reservations.
“There is no effort to delay taking an action. There’s more of a thoughtful process to figure out what’s the best way forward,” she said.