Texas Rep. Dan Crenshaw's comments criticizing fellow House Republicans were the last thing Kevin McCarthy needed.

The House minority leader from California, who hopes to be speaker should Republicans, as expected, win the majority in 2022, has spent time at Republican Conference meetings two weeks in a row telling lawmakers to knock off the fighting. House Republican tensions over policy and style are creating new headaches for McCarthy as he and his leadership team try to lead their party to the majority in November.

Crenshaw, first elected to the House in 2018, is the latest member to take aim at the political style and motives of other members, warning at a weekend event that there are "grifters in our midst.”

"They’re the ones you think are more conservative because they know how to say slogans real well," Crenshaw said. "They know how to recite the lines that they know our voters want to hear.”

Crenshaw also took to Instagram over the weekend to counter a barrage of activists angry that he and dozens of other Republicans voted for the Immunization Infrastructure Modernization Act of 2021, H.R. 550, which would authorize $400 million to update immunization information systems.


Some Republican members said that the bill would fuel government overreach when it comes to vaccines, with Illinois Rep. Mary Miller worrying that the information could be used to target those who are not vaccinated. Other activists claimed that it would create a federal vaccine database.

Crenshaw said that the characterization was all wrong. The bill would not create a federal vaccine database, he said; the bill decreased a designation of $500 million originally allocated for that purpose in the American Rescue Plan that Democrats passed earlier this year, and then, it included guardrails to ensure that information stayed anonymous.

"The Republicans screaming about this bill saying it's bad — it does the exact opposite of what they're saying, and they know that,” Crenshaw said in the Instagram video.

The issue reportedly prompted McCarthy to tell his members in a meeting on Wednesday to not attack each other or get personal if they have policy differences and to stay focused on their differences with Democrats.

It is just the latest instance of House Republicans taking aim at each other.

Last week, Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene took aim at South Carolina Rep. Nancy Mace after Mace criticized what Colorado Rep. Lauren Boebert said in a viral video while telling a story about being in a Capitol Hill elevator with Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar. “Well, she doesn't have a backpack. We should be fine," Boebert recalled saying to a Capitol Police officer in an apparent reference to suicide bombings.

Mace then criticized Boebert on CNN for “racist tropes and remarks that I find disgusting,” which prompted Greene to lash out on Twitter and started an hourslong back and forth between the two on Twitter and in media interviews.

Before that, a faction of right-wing conservatives in the conference angled to punish the 13 Republican members who voted in favor of an infrastructure bill in defiance of Republican leadership, resulting in a tense exchange.


All the while, House Democrats are taking delight in the right-wing factions of the Republican conference attacking other members and vice versa.

In a Wednesday press conference, House Democratic Caucus Chairman Hakeem Jeffries brought a blown-up screenshot of one of Greene’s tweets asserting that she and her closest colleagues such as Boebert represent the base of the party.