Outspoken socialist Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was soundly defeated in her bid for a seat on the influential House Energy and Commerce Committee, losing out to fellow New York Democrat Kathleen Rice after some criticized AOC’s support for liberal primary challenges to sitting incumbent Democrats.
Rice, a three-term House member who represents New York’s 4th Congressional District on Long Island just outside the eastern boundary of New York City, won 46-13 in a secret ballot of the Democratic Policy and Steering Committee on Thursday, Politico reported.
The battle was the latest rebuke from Democrats of Ocasio-Cortez and her ideological cohorts, who were blamed by fellow party members in the House for a loss of as many as a dozen seats three days after the election.
"I'm taking into account who works against other members in primaries and who doesn't,” Rep. Henry Cuellar of Texas said on the committee’s call according to Politico quoting unidentified sources.
Cuellar had to defend himself from a primary challenge by Jessica Cisneros, supported by Ocasio-Cortez.
Both Ocasio-Cortez, 31, a freshman congresswoman who represents portions of the New York City boroughs of the Bronx and Queens, and Rice, 55, lobbied behind the scenes for the seat on the energy and commerce panel, which oversees everything from health care policy to climate legislation.
Besides Cuellar’s remarks, members on the energy and commerce committee supposedly were concerned about Ocasio-Cortez’s progressive policies in a Congress where the Democrat majority could be as few as nine votes.
Rice’s victory comes two years after she publicly opposed California Rep. Nancy Pelosi for speaker of the House and reportedly was denied a spot on the chamber’s judiciary committee because of it.
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