By Louis Casiano
April 12, 2019 - A Republican congressman from Kentucky says that if U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., wants to visit an underground coal mine in his state, she'll first have to apologize to a GOP congressman from Texas.
U.S. Rep. Andy Barr, R-Ky., placed the condition on Ocasio-Cortez's planned visit to the Bluegrass State in a letter to the freshman congresswoman on Friday.
Barr’s demand stems from comments that Ocasio-Cortez recently directed at U.S. Rep. Dan Crenshaw, R-Texas, over his response to domestic terrorism.
"I urge you to apologize to our colleague prior to coming to visit Kentucky," Barr said in the letter, describing Ocasio-Cortez's' remarks as an example of a "lack of civility that is becoming far too common in the U.S. House of Representatives."
Ocasio-Cortez told Crenshaw, a former Navy SEAL, that he should focus on domestic terrorism after he slammed Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., for describing the 9/11 attacks as “some people did something.” In a March speech to the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), Omar spoke of the rise in anti-Islamic activity in response to terrorist incidents.
"Far too long we have lived with the discomfort of being a second-class citizen and frankly, I'm tired of it, and every single Muslim in this country should be tired of it," she said. "CAIR was founded after 9/11 because they recognized that some people did something and that all of us were starting to lose access to our civil liberties."
Crenshaw decried her comments, tweeting: “First member of Congress to ever describe terrorists who killed thousands of Americans on 9/11 as 'some people who did something.' Unbelievable."
Ocasio-Cortez stepped in the middle of the feud to defend Omar and called out Crenshaw for not co-sponsoring a measure to aid 9/11 victims and their families.
"You refuse to cosponsor the 9/11 Victim’s Compensation Fund, yet have the audacity to drum resentment towards Ilhan w/completely out-of-context quotes," she tweeted.
“In 2018, right-wing extremists were behind almost all U.S. domestic terrorist killings," Ocasio-Cortez continued. "Why don’t you go do something about that?"
Corbin Trent, a spokesman for Ocasio-Cortez, told the Louisville Courier-Journal that Crenshaw targeted Omar because she is one of the first Muslim women to serve in Congress.
Following Ocasio-Cortez's comments, Barr and other conservatives pointed to Crenshaw’s war record, having served three tours in Afghanistan and losing his right eye. During a hearing earlier this month about the Green New Deal, he invited Ocasio-Cortez to meet coal miners. But first, he would like her to apologize to Crenshaw.
Barr said his office has not received a response to his invitation.
"Luckily, Kentucky has open borders," Trent said. "If we decided to go to Kentucky to visit with coal miners, which we certainly hope to, and talk about the opportunities that can be brought to the rural South ... and to coal-mine country and Appalachia, that can be brought by transitioning to renewable energy and the Green New Deal, we'll be excited to do so."