Instead, Rep. Kathleen Rice, D-N.Y., won the committee assignment with a strong 46-13 vote of the Steering and Policy Committee, Politico reported.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., drafted a slate that told the Democratic Party caucus which candidates to choose for four out of five open spaces on the Energy and Commerce Committee, leaving Ocasio-Cortez and Rice to vie for a final position the party reserved for a New York member.
Several Democrats spoke against Ocasio-Cortez’s nomination, arguing that she was disqualified by her socialist opinions, attempts to primary sitting Democrats, and unwillingness to pay the party’s campaign dues.
“I’m taking into account who works against other members in primaries and who doesn’t,” said Rep. Henry Cuellar, D-Texas.
Ocasio-Cortez backed Jessica Cisneros, a Democratic candidate for the 28th District of Texas who tried to oust Cuellar from his seat in the primary.
Cuellar won by fewer than 3,000 votes.
Some weak Democrats, however, supported both Ocasio-Cortez and Rice for the seat, a decision that came without consequence since they cast secret ballots.
Rep. Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., announced his support for Ocasio-Cortez but he withheld support from Rice.
Ocasio-Cortez has placed herself at odds with the party’s leadership for years but with an increasing boldness since the election.
She said this week that Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., should step down from the party’s leadership, The Hill reported.
Ocasio-Cortez responded, “I mean, I think so,” when asked if they “need to go.”
“I do think that we need new leadership in the Democratic Party … the internal dynamics of the House has made it such that there’s very little option for succession,” Ocasio-Cortez said. “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.”