Progressive Democrat Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez lost out on a prized seat on the House Energy and Commerce Committee to Rep. Kathleen Rice, a fellow New Yorker.
According to Politico “Rice and Ocasio-Cortez have been battling behind the scenes for weeks to secure one of the few open seats on the exclusive committee, which oversees everything from health care policy to climate issues. Tensions spilled into the open Thursday in a private meeting of the Steering and Policy Committee, where Democrats were forced to choose between the two members in a tense — and awkward — secret ballot vote.”
Rice won the lopsided vote 46-13 and the report claims moderate Democrats openly criticized social media star Ocasio-Cortez.
Pelosi and her leadership team had presented a slate of their preferred candidates for four out of the five seats, but left this 5th seat, reserved for a NY member open leading to the AOC vs. Rice matchup.
Some Democrats specifically pointed out AOC’s efforts to help progressive candidates primary incumbent Democrat challengers as well as her refusal to pay party campaign dues.
Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Texas) said on the call “I’m taking into account who works against other members in primaries and who doesn’t.”