The House Democratic Steering and Policy Committee on Thursday voted to seat Rep. Kathleen Rice on a coveted committee over her New York colleague Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in the latest example of House Democrats bucking the firebrand who represents the Bronx and Queens.
With five open slots on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., nominated four people and left the fifth spot open for members to choose between the two New Yorkers in a vote, Politico first reported. Fox News confirmed that Rice decisively won the vote 46-13.
The Energy and Commerce Committee handles some of the most critical legislation in the House, from the environment to health care to nuclear facilities. Its site says that it “has the broadest jurisdiction of any authorizing committee in Congress.”
The defeat for Ocasio-Cortez comes after the high-profile lawmaker entering her second term made combative comments about Democratic leadership in Congress in an interview on “The Intercept” this week.
“I do think we need new leadership in the Democratic Party,” Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., said. She added that she is concerned about a power vacuum because Democratic leaders have not necessarily been grooming their successors. She also said that she herself is not ready to run for the job of House speaker.