Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., found herself on the outside looking in when House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., announced appointments to several powerful committees.
The House Democratic Steering and Policy Committee passed over Ocasio-Cortez in favor of Rep. Kathleen Rice, D-N.Y. on Thursday for the coveted House Committee on Energy and Commerce.
The Steering and Policy Committee held a contentious private meeting on Thursday, after Pelosi nominated four of the five openings and let the panel vote on the last spot — AOC lost the secret vote 46-13, according to Politico.
Rice is considered more moderate than the radical left democratic socialist, and Fox News reported that her selection is “the latest example of House Democrats bucking the firebrand who represents Brooklyn and Queens.”
The vote came the day after Ocasio-Cortez said in an interview on the “The Intercept” podcast that it’s time for Speaker Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer to go.
It’s on! AOC says Pelosi, Schumer need to go, though she’s ‘not ready’ to be speaker https://t.co/0eEmzUVqyb pic.twitter.com/KQn1161GvY
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) December 16, 2020
“I do think we need new leadership in the Democratic Party,” AOC declared. “I think one of the things that I’ve struggled with, I think that a lot of people struggle with, is the internal dynamics of the House has made it such that there’s very little options for succession.”
She spoke of a possible vacuum though, after complaining that party leaders have concentrated power “with a lack of real grooming on next generation of leadership.”
“My concern — and I acknowledge this as a failing, as something that we need to sort out — is that there isn’t a plan,” she said. “How do we fill that vacuum? Because if you create that vacuum, there are so many nefarious forces at play to fill that vacuum with something even worse. And so, the actual sad state of affairs is that there are folks more conservative than even they are willing to kind of fill that void.”
More conservative than Nancy Pelosi???
Many members of the Democratic caucus see Ocasio-Cortez unfavorably because she backs primary challenges against Democratic colleagues — AOC was elected to office in 2018 after unseating the then-fourth-ranked Democratic incumbent, Joe Crowley.
One of those colleagues, Rep. Henry Cuellar, D-Texas, spoke about assignments to the Energy and Commerce Committee.
“I’m taking into account who works against other members in primaries and who doesn’t,” Cuellar said on Thursday’s call.
Cuellar faced a primary challenge from Jessica Cisneros, and Ocasio-Cortez backed Cisneros.
Rice has had her own run-ins with Pelosi, who blocked her from getting a position on the Judiciary Committee in 2019 after Rice opted to not support Pelosi for Speaker.
Pelosi praised the appointments in a statement: “House Democrats are united in our mission to Build Back Better, and with these strong voices at the table, we will deliver on that sacred promise to make a real difference for all Americans.”
Here’s a quick sampling of responses to the story from Twitter:
Not just Rep. Rice beating out AOC, all five Dems added to the powerful E&C Committee, which oversees energy, healthcare, etc – Reps. Craig, Schrier, Fletcher and Trahan – are pro-business New Dem caucus members, all beating progressives vying for seats. https://t.co/vSevtzoTff
— Lee Fang (@lhfang) December 18, 2020
Sounds like Nancy Pelosi undercut the Squad after they failed to utilize their leverage.
Maybe next time, they’ll use leverage when they have it. https://t.co/wEo9H5cxFV
— Lowell the Berner 🌹 (@lowetze1) December 18, 2020
I agree! Lots of talk for nothing!
— yby (@yby) December 18, 2020
For all the talk about @AOC being a hellraiser who doesn’t play ball, there’s an interesting dynamic here: AOC voted for Pelosi last time and she will probably vote for Pelosi again. Kathleen Rice was part of the Democrats challenging Pelosi’s speakership. https://t.co/CMWDOt8ILp
— Eric Michael Garcia (@EricMGarcia) December 17, 2020
Don’t ask me to take @AOC seriously when her own party caucus doesn’t take her seriously.
I mean, Rice was on Pelosi’s bad side last time, and got rejected for prime committees. And Pelosi STILL preferred Rice over AOC. https://t.co/oK3YQ7scaC
— Pradheep J. Shanker (@Neoavatara) December 18, 2020
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