Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-TX) said this week that he thinks it is “stupid” to “punish” the 13 Republicans who voted alongside the Democrats to pass the $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill that was enacted into law on Monday.
“And this movement to punish those 13 Republicans is also stupid,” Crenshaw told a Politico reporter in a broader conversation after the Democrats separately censured Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) for a controversial meme video he posted.
It is worth noting Crenshaw voted against the $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill, and released his own video explaining his opposition to the bill:
In the video, Crenshaw even addressed that people are upset with the 13 Republicans who voted for the bill saying “there is some truth to that” when he noted that many conservatives are livid over those Republicans handing a “win” to the Democrats and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi when they were struggling badly. “I wouldn’t vote against something just because it makes Democrats look good–I vote against them because they’re bad policy,” Crenshaw says in the video. “I think this infrastructure bill is bad policy mostly because it’s too expensive.” He then details several policy concerns he has with the bill, and explains further why he voted against it–while also explaining why it is tied together with Biden’s other agenda bill, the Build Back Better plan, which has still not yet passed either chamber of Congress. Democrats are attempting to get that second plan through soon, using a tactic known as reconciliation, so they can avoid a filibuster from Senate Republicans and pass the bill through the Senate with just a simple majority and only Democrats in support.
Even though Crenshaw voted against the first infrastructure bill, several Republicans–13 in total–did vote for it. Reps. John Katko (R-NY), Don Bacon (R-NE), Jeff Van Drew (R-NJ), Fred Upton (R-MI), Adam Kinzinger (R-IL), Don Young (R-AK), Tom Reed (R-NY), Chris Smith (R-NJ), Andrew Garbarino (R-NY), Nicole Malliotakis (R-NY), Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), Rep. Anthony Gonzalez (R-OH), and Rep. David McKinley (R-WV) all voted to pass the bill.
Many Republicans, including former President Donald Trump, have called to punish those Republican representatives for their vote. The range of consequences being discussed among conservatives for those 13 members include primary challenges, stripping out their committee assignments, and losing chairmanships or ranking member positions on committees and subcommittees. The most notable GOP member who voted for this is Katko, who is the ranking member of the House Homeland Security Committee. Some have called for him to lose his assignment on that committee over this and other votes–like his vote to impeach Trump earlier this year–after this. House GOP leader Kevin McCarthy has not yet taken action on this front.
“Republicans who hand over their voting card to Nancy Pelosi to pass Biden’s Communist takeover of America will feel the anger of the GOP voter,” said Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA).
“Vote for this infrastructure bill and I will primary the hell out of you,” tweeted Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-NC).
“That 13 House Republicans provided the votes needed to pass this is absurd,” said Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX).
Trump called for “good and SMART America First Republican Patriots to run primary campaigns” against some of the Republicans who supported the infrastructure bill.
The original version of this story had said that Crenshaw defended these members, but Crenshaw–in response to a Breitbart News Instagram post of the story–commented back and said he did not defend their votes. “Defended? How exactly? I defended nothing. I was strongly against that bill, criticized it repeatedly, and voted against it. Saying it’s stupid for Republicans to kick other Republicans off their committees as punishment for the vote isn’t a defense of the vote,” Crenshaw said.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This article has been updated to include more context on Crenshaw’s position on this bill and his comments on it.