Holdout Texas Republican Rep. Dan Crenshaw — who once snubbed 9/11 survivor — signs on to Victim Compensation Fund renewal
“WASHINGTON — The Texas Congressman who sparred with 9/11 responders over his lack of support for a bill to help survivors and victims of the 2001 attacks is signing on to the legislation.
Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R), the eye-patch-wearing former Navy SEAL, wound up in a spat with responders after he criticized Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Min.) for comments about 9/11 that were taken out of context and blasted around social media.
Using 9/11 to bash Omar when Crenshaw wasn’t backing the 9/11 bill — while she was — rubbed some responders the wrong way. They called him out on Twitter, including one who had gotten the brush off from the Texan in the hallways of Capitol Hill.
Some Democrats including New York Reps. Max Rose and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez picked up the tweets and amplified them. Crenshaw accused Democrats of orchestrating an attack.
He got over it at a Wednesday afternoon meeting with John Feal, the founder of the FealGood Foundation who is spearheading the push for a new Victim Compensation Fund.
“After the miscommunication, the lack of communication and others making this political about a month ago -- and it was an unfortunate incident -- this was personal for me,” Feal said.
Feal and others in the effort had believed before the dustup that Crenshaw, who was injured in Afghanistan, would be a likely supporter.
“Congressman Crenshaw and myself are not that different,” said Feal, an Army veteran. "We have the warrior mentality, but we’re also both sensitive to insults.
“Dan was able to put aside his feelings about what happened with that incident, and I think the merits of the bill stood out,” Feal said.
The measure would permanently fund the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund, which is running out of money. Payouts to victims and responders were recently cut in half, with more cuts looming.
Feal had promised to go shake Crenshaw’s hand if the Texan relented, and he did after Wednesday’s sitdown.
“I salute him for for being a hero for the country, and I also salute him for now supporting 9/11 responders in the state of Texas, his district and around the country,” Feal said.
Crenshaw’s office did not answer a request for comment, but his conversion marks the latest in a wave of conservative Republicans who are flocking to the legislation.
The top Republican on the House Judiciary Committee, Rep. Doug Collins became a formal co-sponsor last week, adding his name to a list that already included Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney.
There are already more than enough sponsors in the House, but a companion measure in the Senate is still well short, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has made no promises about moving on the legislation.”