Ahead of the upcoming legislative session, it is clear that a number of progressives in the Democratic caucus are hoping to gain influence within their party.
One such attempt from U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), however, was reportedly snubbed by party leaders.
As Fox News reported, the left-wing lawmaker had been campaigning for a spot on the influential House Energy and Commerce Committee, which considers proposals on a range of important issues.
In a decisive vote of 46 to 13, however, the House Democratic Steering and Policy Committee opted to choose Rep. Kathleen Rice (D-NY) over Ocasio-Cortez. In response to the disappointing outcome, Ocasio-Cortez said that defeat was “tough, always” to accept but acknowledged it as a possible result of ambition.
“You always kind of shoot high and you don’t always get what you want and that’s, you know, I think totally understandable,” she said.
The decision to deny her an assignment on the committee came on the heels of an interview during which she essentially called for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), and other Democratic leaders to be replaced.
“Well, you know, I do think that we need new leadership in the Democratic Party,” Ocasio-Cortez said.
“I would make it 10 times over”
She went on to cite her personal “struggle” with the “internal dynamics of the House,” which she said “has made it such that there’s very little option for succession.”
Making such divisive statements about members of her own party has caused her to be a polarizing figure and potentially contributed to her colleagues’ decision to keep her off of the energy and commerce panel.
According to Politico, Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-TX) explained his vote by saying on Thursday that he took “into account who works against other members in primaries and who doesn’t.”
In her own statement the following day, Ocasio-Cortez insisted that she had no regrets about her primary endorsements.
As she explained: “I don’t regret supporting and taking a bold stance to say ‘we should be a party that pushes for women’s rights. We should be a party that doesn’t block one or two people out of Washington.’ And so if I had to go back and make that decision I would make it 10 times over.”