Rep. Crenshaw passed over for Homeland Security Committee chair after calling fellow Republicans 'terrorists' for opposing McCarthy

 January 10, 2023

During last week's House GOP in-fighting over who should be Speaker, Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-TX) referred to his fellow Republicans who were staunchly opposed to Rep. Kevin McCarthy's (R-CA) speakership bid as enemies and "terrorists."

That course rhetoric may have cost him, though, as it looks like Crenshaw was passed over for the House Homeland Security Committee chairmanship in favor of Rep. Mark Green (R-TN), RedState reported.

Green is a member of the House Freedom Caucus who initially withheld support from McCarthy's speakership bid until major concessions were made on the House Rules package.

The Homeland Security Committee chairmanship

According to Politico reporter Olivia Beavers, Rep. Green was chosen over Rep. Crenshaw to wield the gavel over the House Homeland Security Committee.

The outlet reported in September that Green and Crenshaw, both combat veterans, had emerged as the frontrunners after other top Republicans on the committee had withdrawn themselves from consideration for the chairmanship.

That, of course, was well before Crenshaw decided to attack his GOP colleagues as the enemy and "terrorists" for daring to demand the concessions favorable to conservatives be made prior to coronating McCarthy as House Speaker.

In angling for the House Homeland Security Committee chairmanship, Green had stressed border security as his top priority, and he reiterated that stance in a statement to Fox News after it was revealed that he had been selected to head that particular committee.

"For the sake of our national security and homeland security, we must secure our border," Green said in a statement. "We have no choice. We will empower our brave CBP agents to do their jobs and hold President Biden and [DHS] Secretary Mayorkas accountable for the crisis that they created."

Harsh criticism issued

As for Crenshaw, the Tampa Free Press reported that he had issued a sort of half-hearted and excuse-laden apology for his fratricidal rhetoric against his fellow House Republicans, but it may have been too little and too late.

During the days-long battle over the speakership last week, Crenshaw told Fox News of the anti-McCarthy holdouts, "Those of us who are standing against this, we’re standing for principle. They are standing for notoriety. They’re standing for that extra news because nobody ever cares about them, and they’re frustrated by that."

"We can’t give in to this because then they will always run the conference, and they’ll just get another scalp and another scalp. We just can’t allow that to happen. That’s why those of us are saying, like, 'look, you pushed us into this corner. So now we’re saying we won’t vote for anyone but McCarthy,'" he added at that time. "That’s why we’re saying it, because we cannot let the terrorists win. That’s basically what’s happening."

An apology offered

Yet, after the speakership fight was over, and amid complaints over the rhetoric he had used against fellow House Republicans, the Texas congressman acknowledged that he may have gone too far and apologized to any members who may have been offended -- in a somewhat patronizing and demeaning manner.

"Things get heated, and things get said. Obviously, to the people who took offense by that, it’s pretty obvious it’s meant as a turn of phrase," Crenshaw told CNN. "I’ve got thick skin. I’m called awful, vile things by the very same wing of the party that I was fighting at that moment. So I was a little taken aback by the sensitivity of it."

"But to the extent that I have colleagues that were offended by it, I sincerely apologize to them," he added. "I don’t want them to think I actually believe they’re terrorists. It’s certainly a turn of phrase that you use in an intransigent negotiation."

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