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House Democrats snub, lash out at Ocasio-Cortez before secret ballot for crucial committee assignment


'I'm taking into account who works against other members in primaries and who doesn't'

Alex Wroblewski/Getty Images

Far-left Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) was snubbed by her fellow Democrats this week.

According to Politico, Ocasio-Cortez aggressively campaigned for a seat on the prized House Energy and Commerce Committee, which would have given her influence over health care and climate policy. Such issues are especially important for Ocasio-Cortez, who advocates for "Medicare for All" and the far-left "Green New Deal."

But the Democratic caucus passed over Ocasio-Cortez, overwhelmingly selecting Rep. Kathleen Rice (D-N.Y.), a moderate Democrat, instead.

Rep. Kathleen Rice. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

In a secret ballot vote on Thursday, Ocasio-Cortez lost by a vote of 46-13.

But not everything about the vote was secret. According to Politico, some Democrats personally spoke out against Ocasio-Cortez prior to the vote, criticizing the progressive Democrat for campaigning against her moderate colleagues.

"I'm taking into account who works against other members in primaries and who doesn't," Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Texas) said prior to the vote, Politico reported.

After winning the vote, Rice said:

It is an honor to be selected by my Democratic colleagues to serve on the Energy and Commerce Committee in the 117th Congress. New Yorkers deserve a fighter to lower the cost of prescription drugs, address climate change, and improve our drinking water. I look forward to working with my colleagues to help the incoming Biden-Harris Administration combat the COVID-19 pandemic and build back our economy.

What's the background?

The development comes as Democrats fight over the identity of their party. Ocasio-Cortez, and other members of the "Squad," have spent the last two years trying to steer the Democratic Party to the far-left.

However, moderate Democrats are fighting back, aware that progressive policies do not win elections, but were responsible for many Democratic lawmakers losing their elections last month.

In a Democratic Party conference call after the election, Rep. Abigail Spanberger (D-Va.), a moderate Democrat, told her colleagues that Democrats failed to deliver the promised "blue wave" because of far-left policies like "defund the police."

"We need to be pretty clear," Spanberger reportedly said on the call, "It was a failure. It was not a success. We lost incredible members of Congress.

"We have to commit to not saying the words 'defund the police' ever again," she said. "We need to not ever use the words socialist or socialism ever again."

"If we run this race again we will get f***ing torn apart again in 2022," Spanberger predicted.

House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.) agreed, saying that if Democrats "are going to run on Medicare for All, defund the police, socialized medicine, we're not going to win" future elections.

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