Rep. Kathleen Rice has secured a seat on the powerful House Energy and Commerce Committee, beating out colleague Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) in a secret ballot vote.
Politico reported last week that both Rice and Ocasio-Cortez were waging a battle to secure the seat “with both touting the support of the New York delegation, circulating separate letters with their home state’s endorsement.”
Confidence was exuding from AOC as she discussed the contest, noting she was the candidate with the state’s backing.
“I’m the only member to have the full region’s endorsement for New York state,” Ocasio-Cortez declared. “She (Rice) has a couple signatures but she does not have the region’s endorsement.”
In the end, however, Rice got more than a couple of votes, winning by a large margin (46-13) in what Politico called “a tense and awkward” vote.
It’s been a busy news day but here’s the recap of all the drama this afternoon that led to that lopsided Steering vote in favor of Rice landing a spot on Energy and Commerce
— Heather Caygle (@heatherscope) December 18, 2020
AOC Loses the Energy and Commerce Committee Seat
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AOC may have lost the coveted seat due to her inability to play nice with others within her own party.
“The panel launched into an intense round of speeches on each candidate, with several Democrats speaking up to lobby against Ocasio-Cortez,” the Politico report states.
Another factor for some Democrats who voted for Kathleen Rice was the fact that AOC refused to pay dues to her caucus and actively tried to unseat some of her party’s incumbents.
Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-TX) reportedly told others in a video call that, “I’m taking into account who works against other members in primaries and who doesn’t.”
Politico goes on to describe the Rice/AOC battle as “the most closely watched contest within the Democratic caucus” and noted it carries “big implications for both policy and power in the next Congress.”
House Democratic colleagues of AOC sent her a chilly message yesterday when she lost 46-13 to a fellow New Yorker, Rep. Kathleen Rice, in a secret ballot for a seat on the powerful Energy and Commerce Committee. https://t.co/BfVvlTkdbH
— Axios (@axios) December 18, 2020
Ocasio-Cortez Not Making Many Friends
With Axios referring to AOC’s defeat for the Energy and Commerce Committee seat as a “chilly message” from her colleagues, the New York socialist might want to take note of her behavior within the party.
Not paying caucus dues and tearing the party apart by promoting radical challengers might not just cost her coveted committee roles.
AOC has repeatedly made moves that leave a bad taste in the mouths of establishment Democrats, with some reports indicating it could lead them to eliminate her House seat as retribution.
The Democratic Party is falling apart…
Democrats may try to eliminate AOC’s House seat.https://t.co/uPnOlT0oiH
— Tea Party Patriots (@TPPatriots) February 26, 2020
“Already in hot water for refusing to pay dues to her caucus’ fundraising arm, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, she’s now devoting her resources instead to defeating Democrats,” the New York Post Board reported in February.
“Don’t be surprised when the established Democrats who’ll control redistricting after the 2020 Census do their best to eliminate her seat.”
Other reports have indicated AOC may try to primary Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer for his seat in 2022.
In a podcast interview that aired Wednesday, AOC said it’s time for new leadership in the Democrat party, specifically referencing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Schumer.
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