Rep. Mark Green (R-Tenn.) was selected by the House Steering Committee Monday to chair the House Homeland Security Committee, beating out Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-Texas).
Crenshaw rankled many of his colleagues last week when he implied in a series of interviews that the 20 Republican holdouts were “terrorists,” “narcissists,” and enemies of the State who deserved to be punished for delaying the start of the new Congress.
Wednesday night, after Fox News host Tucker Carlson blasted Crenshaw for smearing the 20 Republican rebels, the Texas congressman shot back on Twitter: “Unclutch your pearls. It’s a figure of speech. You can’t insult, slander, and hold everyone hostage with no way out – and not expect me to punch back. Grow thicker skin.”
Crenshaw finally apologized on Sunday and said his remark, “we cannot let the terrorists win” was just a “turn of phrase.”
“To the extent that I have colleagues that were offended by it, I sincerely apologize to them. I don’t want them to think I actually believe they’re terrorists. It’s clearly a turn of phrase that you use in what is an intransigent negotiation,” Crenshaw said.
Green and Crenshaw are both veterans who have previously sat on the panel.
Green, a House Freedom Caucus member, said he would use his leadership position to fight for a stronger border.
“For the sake of our national security and homeland security, we must secure our border,” Green said in a statement to Fox News Digital. “We have no choice. We will empower our brave CBP agents to do their jobs and hold President Biden and Secretary Mayorkas accountable for the crisis that they created.”
The Tennessee Republican is a physician and three-tour combat veteran of Afghanistan and Iraq. Last May, Green called on Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas to resign over the crisis at the border.
“The person responsible for ensuring the security of our homeland against all enemies, foreign and domestic, does not know if his policies allowed apprehended potential terrorists full access to the United States,” Green wrote in an op-ed last May published by Fox News.
The Homeland Security Committee oversees border security and cybersecurity and is the main oversight committee for the Department of Homeland Security.
Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., was the chair when Democrats held the majority last Congress.
On a related note, Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Ala.) announced Monday afternoon he plans to stay on the House Steering Committee after announcing that morning that he planned to step down.
The powerful Republican panel decides committee assignments for conference members.
In a tense moment on Friday, Rogers had to be physically restrained on the House floor as he lunged at Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.).
The scuffle happened after the 14th House speaker vote failed, and Gaetz had discussed with McCarthy the possibility of backing him in the next voting round.
Rogers chairs the House Armed Services Committee, and Gaetz is a member.
“I have been surprised that an overwhelming number of members, both rank & file and leadership, have urged me to stay on [the] Steering [Committee],” the Alabama Republican said in a statement. “Consequently, I plan to remain on Steering for the balance of this Congress.”
Gaetz told Fox News that he had no hard feeling toward Rogers following the dustup, and “he has my forgiveness.”
“Mike Rogers is going to be a terrific chairman of the Armed Services Committee and we share a deep commitment to our national defense,” Gaetz said. “Of course in a late night moment of high drama, people can have moments of frustration, but Mike Rogers and I have a six-year productive working relationship. We’re going to work together wonderfully going forward, and I don’t think there should be any punishment or reprisal just because he had an animated moment,” the Florida congressman added.
.@RepMikeRogersAL and I have a six-year productive, working relationship. We're going to work together wonderfully going forward.
I don't think there should be any punishment or reprisal just because he had an animated moment.
He has my forgiveness. pic.twitter.com/bXERia3a0j
— Rep. Matt Gaetz (@RepMattGaetz) January 8, 2023