In Congress, the most brutal battles are internal. House Democratic colleagues of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez sent her a chilly message yesterday when she lost 46-13 to a fellow New Yorker, Rep. Kathleen Rice, in a secret ballot for a seat on the powerful Energy and Commerce Committee.
Driving the news: I’m told Ocasio-Cortez lost the vote by the House Democratic Steering Committee because she didn’t personally ask for enough votes, and because some members fear she’ll support a primary against them from the left.
Rice worked the committee, tightly controlled by Speaker Pelosi, and was showered with seconding speeches.
- One member told me Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez “doesn’t have enough relationships. She needs to learn from this.”
- Conscious of AOC’s power with progressives and online, the member said: “The vote would have been very different if it wasn’t secret.”
An aide to Ocasio-Cortez didn’t immediately answer a request for comment.