Crenshaw Loses Bid for Key Gavel After ‘Terrorists’ Swipe

Crenshaw Loses Bid for Key Gavel After ‘Terrorists’ Swipe

Rep. Dan Crenshaw, R-Texas, a day after apologizing for calling opponents of House Speaker Kevin McCarthy “terrorists” during the heated debate over last week’s speaker election, was bypassed to head the key House Homeland Security Committee, with the spot going to House Freedom Caucus member Rep. Mark Green, R-Tenn. 

The panel provides oversight on the Department of Homeland Security, whose secretary, Alejandro Mayorkas, has come under fire in recent months for his handling of the U.S.-Mexico border. The committee also handles issues that deal with illegal immigration and terrorism, reported The New York Post.

Crenshaw last week told CNN that a group of about 20 Freedom Caucus members who had been holding back their votes from McCarthy in exchange for concessions on rules for the House were “enemies” who “made it clear they prefer a Democrat agenda than a Republican.” 

Later in the day, Crenshaw told Fox News Radio host Guy Benson that “we cannot let the terrorists win,” while talking about the holdouts. 

Green was not one of the holdouts and had voted for McCarthy each time in the 15 ballots. 

Crenshaw on Sunday said he was a “little taken aback” by the backlash to his comments, and said he wanted to “sincerely apologize” to his colleagues. 

“I don’t want them to think I actually believe they’re terrorists,” he said. “It’s clearly a turn of phrase that you use in what is an intransigent negotiation.”

Green, after winning the coveted chairmanship, tweeted Monday that he’s looking forward to working with Crenshaw, a fellow veteran. Green also promised that the committee will hire at least one staff member who would be posted at the border to work with U.S. Customs and Border Protection and other agencies. 

Meanwhile, several other GOP lawmakers who wouldn’t support McCarthy’s election as House Speaker are reaping rewards that not only included rules changes but with assignments to key committee positions, reported The Washington Examiner

Rep. Byron Donalds, R-Fla., whose name was thrown in as speaker and who joined conservatives to oppose McCarthy in some of the early rounds of voting, was assigned to the House Steering Committee. He had confirmed receiving a seat on the committee during the negotiations process.

The committee makes determinations concerning committee assignments for House members, and the House Freedom Caucus had demanded more representation on the committee for several months before the speaker vote. 

McCarthy had told Freedom Caucus members that he will seat three of them on the House Rules Committee, which determines when and if bills will come to the House floor for consideration. Those seats had not been determined as of Monday afternoon.

Unconfirmed reports suggest that Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., one of the anti-McCarthy leaders, might get to head a subcommittee under House Armed Services, and that Rep. Lauren Boebert, R-Colo., also an anti-McCarthy leader, could be assigned to the House Judiciary Committee. 

McCarthy’s conservative backers also are expected to get high-ranking spots, including Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, who is likely to land the leadership of the Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government. 

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., might also be returning to congressional committees after Democrats and some of her GOP colleagues stripped her from membership during the last Congress. 

Greene and Jordan are members of the Freedom Caucus. 

Meanwhile, Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Ala., who had to be restrained on the floor Friday while arguing with Gaetz, said Monday he will step down from the House Steering Committee, but on Monday afternoon told Politico he will remain on the committee after calls from House members to stay. 

Gaetz and Rogers appeared on Sunday to let the heated moment slide, with Gaetz tweeting that he believes they will work “wonderfully” together and that there should not be any reprisals. 

Rogers responded that he regrets losing his temper and that he appreciates “Matt’s kind understanding.”

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