Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortex (D-NY), who is one of the most far-left members of Congress, was overwhelmingly rejected during a secret ballot vote on Friday in her bid to be seated on a powerful congressional committee.
Democrats overwhelmingly voted to give the seat on the House Energy and Commerce Committee to Rep. Kathleen Rice (D-NY) instead of Ocasio-Cortez in what ended up being a 46-13 vote.
“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,” Politico reported. “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.”
Politico noted that Ocasio-Cortez was rejected because many in the party view her “far-left policies” as a “threat” in addition to her backing far-left candidates in primary races against incumbent Democrats, and “her refusal to pay party campaign dues.”
One member of Congress told Axios that the vote would have “been very different if it wasn’t secret,” which suggests that Democrats might be afraid of AOC.
The Committee, which was established in 1795, has the broadest jurisdiction of any authorizing committee in Congress as it legislates on a variety of issues, including health care, including mental health and substance abuse; health insurance, including Medicare and Medicaid; biomedical research and development; food, drug, device and cosmetic safety; environmental protection; clean air and climate change; safe drinking water; toxic chemicals and hazardous waste; national energy policy; renewable energy and conservation; nuclear facilities; electronic communications and the internet; broadcast and cable television; privacy, cybersecurity and data security; consumer protection and product safety; motor vehicle safety; travel, tourism and sports; and interstate and foreign commerce.
The Committee also oversees multiple federal departments and agencies, including the Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health, Food and Drug Administration, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Indian Health Service, Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Energy, Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Federal Communications Commission, Federal Trade Commission, Consumer Product Safety Commission, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Department of Commerce, Department of Transportation, and the Department of Homeland Security.
The blowout vote against Ocasio-Cortez comes after she complained during an interview this week about the leadership in the Democrat Party.
“Well, you know, I do think that we need new leadership in the Democratic Party,” she said in an interview with The Intercept. “I think one of the things that I have 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 option for succession, if you will, you know? And I think it’s easy for someone to say, ‘Oh, well, you know, why don’t you run?’ But the House is extraordinarily complex. And I’m not ready. It can’t be me! I know that I couldn’t do that job.”
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