Kathleen Rice picked over Ocasio-Cortez for spot on House Energy and Commerce committee


House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced appointments to several powerful committees on Thursday, most notably the selection of Rep. Kathleen Rice over fellow New Yorker Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on the House Committee on Energy and Commerce.

The New York lawmakers had been jockeying for a seat on the panel, according to several media reports, and lobbying to colleagues behind the scenes for weeks, Politico reported.

The committee oversees a broad range of issues, including consumer protection, food and drug safety, public health, health care policy and climate issues.

Politico reported that there was a contentious private meeting on Thursday at the Steering and Policy Committee, where there was a secret ballot to vote on the two candidates. The news outlet said the vote was 46-13.

Ocasio-Cortez, a member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus and a rising star in the party, has been outspoken on many of the issues the committee would tackle. She is currently a member of the powerful House Committee on Oversight and Reform. She also co-chaired a panel advising President-elect Joe Biden on climate policy during his campaign.

Rice is a more moderate member of the party, a former district attorney who represents parts of Long Island. She currently serves on the House Committee on Homeland Security. Rice’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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,” she said.



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