Daniel Reed Crenshaw (born March 14, 1984) is an American politician and former United States Navy SEAL officer serving as the United States representative for Texas's 2nd congressional district since 2019. The district includes parts of northern and western Houston. He is a member of the Republican Party.
|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives|
from Texas's 2nd district
|Assumed office |
January 3, 2019
|Preceded by||Ted Poe|
Daniel Reed Crenshaw
March 14, 1984
Aberdeen, Scotland, United Kingdom
|Branch/service||United States Navy|
|Years of service||2006–2016|
War in Afghanistan (WIA)
Crenshaw was commissioned in the United States Navy, and served on SEAL Team 3 in the War in Afghanistan, reaching the rank of lieutenant commander. He was wounded in action during his third deployment, losing his right eye to an improvised explosive device. He served as a legislative assistant to Representative Pete Sessions, and was elected to Congress in the 2018 midterm election to succeed the retiring Ted Poe.
Early life and education
Born to American parents in Aberdeen, United Kingdom, Crenshaw grew up in Katy, Texas. His mother died of cancer when he was ten years old. His father, Jim Crenshaw, is a petroleum engineer who worked abroad, and Crenshaw spent time growing up in Ecuador and Colombia, developing proficiency in Spanish. In 2002, he graduated from Colegio Nueva Granada in Bogotá, Colombia.
After high school, Crenshaw returned to the United States and attended Tufts University, graduating in 2006 with a Bachelor of Arts in international relations and a minor in physics. After a decade of military service, he studied public administration at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government, receiving a Master of Public Administration in 2017. He worked as a military legislative assistant for U.S. Representative Pete Sessions.
While at Tufts, Crenshaw joined the Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps and received an officer's commission in the U.S. Navy after graduation. He received orders to Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL training (BUD/S) at Naval Amphibious Base Coronado. After six months of training, Crenshaw graduated with BUD/S class 264. He completed SEAL qualification training in June 2008 and received the 1130 designator as a Naval Special Warfare Officer, entitled to wear the Special Warfare Insignia. Crenshaw served in the Navy SEALs for ten years and five tours of duty, reaching the rank of lieutenant commander. His first deployment was to Fallujah, Iraq, where he joined SEAL Team Three. He was based out of Naval Amphibious Base Coronado in Coronado, California.
As a Navy SEAL, Crenshaw was awarded two Bronze Star Medals, one with "V" device, the Purple Heart, and the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal with valor. He medically retired from military service in 2016 with the rank of lieutenant commander.
Crenshaw lost his right eye in 2012 during his third deployment when he was hit by an IED explosion in Afghanistan's Helmand Province. The blast destroyed his eye, and he required surgery to save the vision in his left eye. He remained in the Navy for four years after the injury, and served his fourth and fifth tours of duty in Bahrain and South Korea. In 2021, the retina in his left eye began to detach, so he underwent emergency surgery in April. As he recovered, he expected to be virtually blind for about a month. He said, "I don’t have a 'good eye,' but half a good eye."
U.S House of Representatives
In 2018, Crenshaw ran for the United States House of Representatives in Texas's 2nd congressional district, which includes northern and western Houston, including Kingwood, Humble, Atascocita, Spring, and the Rice University area, to succeed the retiring Ted Poe. He announced his candidacy in November 2017. Crenshaw credited national security analyst John Noonan for encouraging him to run for Congress. In a February 2018 interview, he said that border security and immigration reform would be two of his campaign issues.
Crenshaw and Kevin Roberts advanced from the nine-candidate first round of the Republican primary election to face each other in a runoff election; Crenshaw received 155 votes more than Kathaleen Wall, a candidate backed by Senator Ted Cruz and Governor Greg Abbott. The lead-up to the runoff election was contentious. A super PAC funded by Roberts' brother-in-law, Mark Lanier, focused on Crenshaw's 2015 criticisms of then-presidential candidate Donald Trump, despite Roberts having also been critical of Trump in the past. The ads also compared Crenshaw's policy proposals to those of President Barack Obama and Senator Bernie Sanders. Gaining the endorsement of Senator Tom Cotton, Crenshaw received national attention, appearing in print and television, including on Laura Ingraham's show on Fox Business.
Crenshaw won the runoff to advance to the November general election. On November 6, he defeated Democratic nominee Todd Litton, 52.8% to 45.6%. After the election, Crenshaw called for the depoliticization of comedy and sports and expressed a desire that political rhetoric be toned down.
On the November 3 episode of Saturday Night Live, comedian Pete Davidson joked about the appearances of multiple candidates in the 2018 midterm elections, and described Crenshaw as looking like a "hit man in a porno movie" while adding that he lost his eye in "war or whatever". The joke received widespread criticism, and on the following episode, Davidson and Crenshaw appeared on air together. Davidson offered an apology, which Crenshaw accepted. Crenshaw also used the segment to advocate for veterans' issues. Crenshaw and others have speculated that the joke may have helped him win, as well as aided later fundraising.
Crenshaw was reelected in 2020, defeating Democratic nominee Sima Ladjevardian with 55.6% of the vote to Ladjevardian's 42.8%. During the campaign, he spent over $11 million through October 16, 2020, making it one of the most expensive Congressional races in the country.
The Inspector General of the Department of Veterans Affairs implicated Crenshaw and V.A. Secretary Robert Wilkie in a 2020 report as having engaged in a campaign of disparagement toward a female veteran who reported sexual assault to the Navy. Crenshaw said, "The Democrats created this narrative".
- Committee on the Budget
- Committee on Homeland Security
Crenshaw opposes abortion. In 2019, he received a 0% rating from NARAL Pro-Choice America and a 100% rating from the National Right to Life Committee. He has said that "life starts at conception", that he believes Roe v. Wade was a "bad precedent to set", and that abortion rights "should be decided by the states".
Crenshaw opposes gun control measures, including bans on semi-automatic firearms. In response to the shootings in Dayton and El Paso, he suggested exploring red flag laws as a possible solution to gun violence. But after the 2022 Robb Elementary school shooting, Crenshaw partially retreated from the idea, arguing that such laws should be discussed at state level rather than nationally, saying, "What you're essentially trying to do with a red flag law is enforce the law before the law has been broken, and that's a really difficult thing to do" and "if there's such a threat that they're threatening somebody with a weapon already, then they've already broken the law, so why do you need this other law?" Crenshaw has also said that raising the legal age to purchase a firearm to 21 is ineffective but supports expanding background checks to include juvenile criminal history.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Crenshaw said that Democrats and the media were exaggerating the threat. He was a high-profile defender of Trump's response to the pandemic. He did not wear face masks consistently in settings advised by health experts and mandated by Governor Greg Abbott.
Crenshaw favors repealing the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), describing it as an "unmitigated disaster". During his 2018 campaign, he advocated allowing Medicare to negotiate drug prices, becoming one of a handful of Republicans to endorse what was primarily a progressive idea. By 2019, however, Crenshaw had retreated from this position.
Although Crenshaw had criticized some of Trump's statements in a 2015 Facebook post, he became a "staunch defender" of Trump after the 2016 election. He voted against both articles of impeachment the House of Representatives brought against Trump in 2019.
In 2020, Crenshaw defended the Trump administration's response to the COVID-19 pandemic. In a video Trump retweeted, Crenshaw rebutted criticisms that the Trump administration had been slow in responding to the virus.
After Joe Biden won the 2020 presidential election and Trump refused to concede, Crenshaw was one of 126 Republican members of the House of Representatives to sign an amicus brief in support of Texas v. Pennsylvania, a lawsuit filed at the United States Supreme Court contesting the results of the election. The lawsuit claimed that the four swing states that Biden won had taken "unconstitutional actions", and invoked baseless claims of fraud. The Supreme Court declined to hear the case on the basis that Texas lacked standing under Article III of the Constitution to challenge the results of an election held by another state.
Crenshaw criticized the 2021 U.S Capitol attack perpetrated by Trump supporters, and said that Trump should have ordered the rioters to stop. During the siege, he urged the protesters to "Stop this bullshit right now" on Twitter. Crenshaw condemned the rioting and some of his fellow congressional Representatives for "saying constantly this is our time to fight." While not naming any politicians, Crenshaw stated they were "lying to millions" and scattered when there was an actual threat to the Capitol. He deemed efforts to fight the Electoral College vote certification unconstitutional, and voted against the objections to the electoral vote in both Arizona and Pennsylvania, but defended Senators Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley against allegations that they stoked the riot. Crenshaw voted against the Trump impeachment on January 13, 2021. In a statement, Crenshaw said that while Trump's words had encouraged "unconstitutional theories that risk the stability of our nation", he had voted against the second impeachment because he felt Democrats had "rushed" the process and that impeaching a president who only had seven days left in office would serve little purpose and inflame further tensions.
After Liz Cheney was censured for voting to impeach Trump, Crenshaw asserted in an interview that the Republican Party needed "to move on" from claims the 2020 election was stolen, but also accused the media of continuing to weaponize the issue, arguing both were ignoring larger issues such as the economy, the COVID pandemic and illegal immigration. He also said, "I do not think Trump is the devil, and I won't say that; I don't think he's Jesus either." Crenshaw also supported Representative Adam Kinzinger, who sits on the January 6 select committee and is publicly critical of Trump, and criticized far-right members of the Freedom Caucus as "performance artists" and "grifters".
In 2019, Crenshaw voiced opposition to the For the People Act of 2019, saying it would "limit free speech drastically". He also said the bill would use taxpayer money to "legalize" the kind of electoral fraud that he alleges occurred on the Republican side in the 2018 election for North Carolina's District 9. PolitiFact rated Crenshaw's assertion about the North Carolina race "false", adding, "nothing in the bill that expands who can collect absentee ballots, allows people to fill out ballots for others, or loosens witnessing procedures for absentee ballots", as happened in that election. Crenshaw argued that the bill did not include a federal ban on ballot harvesting, and supported the American Civil Liberties Union's opposition to it over new campaign contribution revisions.
During Crenshaw's 2018 campaign, his website made brief mention of global warming, applauding Trump for withdrawing from the Paris Climate Accords. Crenshaw called the agreement "costly and meaningless", virtue signaling, and bad policy. He also said, "We must use our money to develop better infrastructure." In 2018, Crenshaw called for a debate on the causes of climate change, adding, "We can't start off the conversation saying the climate is settled. The right way to have this conversation is to actually listen to what the science says on both sides."
In 2019, Crenshaw said, "climate change is occurring and that man-made emissions play a part in that. What isn't clear is how our actions will serve to reverse that warming trend, and what the cost-benefit outcome would be. Regardless, we should continue pursuing new green energy solutions that lessen our impact on the environment and create cleaner air and water." In 2020, he criticized solar and wind energy as "silly solutions" that "don't work," and instead advocated expanding nuclear energy and carbon capture technology.
In 2016, Crenshaw harshly criticized then-candidate Trump's "insane rhetoric" toward Muslims and "hateful" speech. During Crenshaw's 2018 campaign, he defended Trump's proposal to build a border wall on the Mexico–United States border. In a May 2019 appearance on The View, he claimed that 80–90% of asylum seeker requests "don't have a valid asylum claim"; news outlet PolitiFact called the claim "false". In 2021, Crenshaw accused the Biden administration of provoking a crisis on the southern border by having a moratorium on deportations and reversing Trump's policies on asylum and illegal immigration. Crenshaw also argues that Mexican drug cartels have fueled illegal immigration by taking advantage of the US asylum process to smuggle people into the country.
Crenshaw supports enforcing physical barriers and implementing technology at the southern border to prevent illegal immigration. He has also expressed a belief that people who try to enter the US illegally "aren't bad people" but "they are breaking the law, and they're contributing to an unsustainable system" and are "cutting in front of the line of all the legal immigrants."
He also voted for the Consolidated Appropriations Act (H.R. 1158) which effectively prohibits ICE from cooperating with Health and Human Services to detain or remove illegal alien sponsors of unaccompanied alien children (UACs).
Crenshaw believes that government should not be involved in regulating marriage and has expressed support for the legalization of same-sex marriage. In 2015, he took issue with people trying to suggest Christianity is as shocking and as violent as Islam, saying, "the worst thing modern Christianity stands for is anti-homosexual marriage, which is a far cry from sex slaves, sharia law and beheadings."
In the case of a 7-year-old who at the age of 3 began to identify as a girl after being assigned male at birth and was the subject of a custody battle in which the father opposed and the mother supported the child's gender transition, Crenshaw opined in favor of the father. Following a judge's decision to grant custody to the mother, Crenshaw called it "heartbreaking" and added, "[a] 7-year-old can't possibly make this decision or understand it. Parents should know better. I hope this father receives the public support he needs."
Crenshaw opposes federal funding to "subsidize college in general", but supports it in cases of vocational training. He opposes cancel culture, and athletes kneeling during the national anthem. He called Senator Tammy Duckworth unpatriotic for wanting a discussion on which statues to remove, including those of George Washington.
Crenshaw supports cooperation with and support for Israel. During some of his public appearances, he has been targeted by anti-semitic white nationalists, known as Groypers, for his pro-Israel views.
In 2019, Crenshaw co-sponsored a resolution opposing Trump's decision to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria, saying that it would embolden the Turkish military's assault on the Kurdish forces. He supported Trump's decision to kill Iranian major general Qasem Soleimani.
Crenshaw and Senator Tom Cotton introduced a bill[when?] that would allow civil suits against foreign states in incidents related to injury or death. The legislation came in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and calls for the Chinese government to be held accountable for "allow[ing] this virus to spread".
In 2022, Crenshaw voiced support for a $40 billion aid package to Ukraine. Fox News political commentator Tucker Carlson criticized him for this, calling Crenshaw "Eyepatch McCain"–– a remark that itself drew much criticism.
|Republican||Dan Crenshaw (incumbent)||48,693||100.0|
|Republican||Dan Crenshaw (incumbent)||192,828||55.6|
|Libertarian||Elliott Robert Scheirman||5,524||1.6|
Awards and recognition
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- @@ShernMinKHOU (January 6, 2021). "#Houston area republicans & democrats condemning the #capitolhillchaos. @DanCrenshawTX challenges @realDonaldTrump to come down to the capitol with a bull horn and disperse protestors. #KHOU11 Tap to listen to more" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
- @@DanCrenshawTX (January 6, 2021). "Stop this bullshit right now" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
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- "Rep. Dan Crenshaw on 'The View': Undocumented immigrants are 'taking advantage of the asylum process'". ABC News.
- "Dan Crenshaw Talks Guns, Healthcare, and Immigration at Houston Town Hall". August 29, 2019.
- "Text - H.R.1865 - 116th Congress (2019-2020): Further Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2020 | Congress.gov | Library of Congress". Congress.gov. Retrieved March 8, 2022.
- "Roll Call 689 Roll Call 689, Bill Number: H. R. 1865, 116th Congress, 1st Session". December 17, 2019.
- "H.R. 1158: DHS Cyber Hunt and Incident Response Teams Act … -- House Vote #690 -- Dec 17, 2019".
- "Crenshaw wants to lead conservative youth, if the GOP old guard will let him". McClatchy. 2019.
- "Daniel Crenshaw's policy on gay marriage". isidewith. Retrieved April 4, 2020.
- Wallace, Jeremy (March 7, 2018). "Once-cordial Houston congressional campaign turns testy". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved October 25, 2019.
- Crenshaw wants to lead conservative youth, if the GOP old guard will let him. McClatchy DC Bureau. May 15, 2018.
- Armus, Teo (October 24, 2019). "A Texas man says his 7-year-old isn't transgender. Now his custody fight has reached the governor's office". The Washington Post. Retrieved June 5, 2020.
- Crenshaw, Dan (June 26, 2020). "Cancel Culture & Mob Mentality: Patriotic Americans Can't Let Far-Left Radicals Win". National Review. Retrieved December 15, 2020.
- Mastrangelo, Dominick (August 12, 2019). "Dan Crenshaw: USA fencer who knelt for anthem is 'delusional'". The Washington Examiner. Retrieved December 15, 2020.
- Brufke, Juliegrace (July 10, 2020). "Crenshaw takes aim at Duckworth's patriotism, accuses her of supporting the 'destruction of America'". The Hill. Retrieved December 15, 2020.
- Crenshaw, Dan [@DanCrenshawTX] (April 19, 2018). "Israel is our most important ally in the Middle East. We must always stand with Israel. Read my policy ideas about this on my website —>" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
- "Groyper Army". Anti-Defamation League. Retrieved November 25, 2020.
- "Trump, Israel and anti-Semitism: How white nationalists are rattling the American right". Haaretz. Retrieved November 25, 2020.
- Press Release (October 16, 2019) Crenshaw Cosponsors Bipartisan Resolution Opposing Syria Withdrawal, Turkish Aggression crenshaw.house.gov
- Benning, Tom (January 3, 2020). "'Long-overdue justice' or 'reckless action'? Texas politicos split on airstrike that killed Iranian commander". Dallas News. Retrieved January 8, 2020.
- Delony, Doug (January 3, 2020). "'Welcome and long-overdue justice' | Texas politicians react to death of Iranian General Soleimani". KHOU. Retrieved January 8, 2020.
- Walker, James (April 21, 2020). "Rep. Dan Crenshaw Says China Has 'Wronged' Americans And Will Be Sued Over Coronavirus Response". Newsweek. Retrieved May 1, 2020.
- Mastrangelo, Dominick (May 17, 2022). "Meghan McCain slams Tucker Carlson for 'eyepatch McCain' quip about Dan Crenshaw". The Hill. Retrieved May 22, 2022.
- Skolnik, Jon (May 17, 2022). "Tucker Carlson calls Dan Crenshaw the "eyepatch McCain" over support for Ukraine aid". Salon.com. Retrieved May 22, 2022.
- "2018 Primary Election Official Results". Texas Secretary of State. Retrieved January 13, 2021.
- "Texas Election Results". Texas Secretary of State. Retrieved December 5, 2018.
- "2020 Texas Election Results". Texas Election Results. Retrieved January 13, 2021.
- Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life. "Religious affiliation of members of 116th Congress" (PDF). pewforum.org. p. 3. Retrieved April 2, 2019.
- Lyons, Kathryn (February 12, 2020). "Everyone has a podcast now, including Rep. Dan Crenshaw". Roll Call. Retrieved May 14, 2020.
- "Dan Crenshaw | 2020 40 under 40 in Government and Politics". Fortune. Retrieved September 13, 2020.
- Farhi, Paul (April 16, 2021). "The GOP's big bulk book-buying machine is boosting Republicans on the bestseller lists". The Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved April 17, 2021.
|Wikiquote has quotations related to Dan Crenshaw.|
- Biography at the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress
- Profile at Vote Smart
- Financial information (federal office) at the Federal Election Commission
- Legislation sponsored at the Library of Congress
- Dan Crenshaw at PolitiFact
- Appearances on C-SPAN
- Hold These Truths with Dan Crenshaw podcast
- SNL mocked my appearance. Here's why I didn't demand an apology. Opinion by Crenshaw in The Washington Post