Rice selected over Ocasio-Cortez for spot on Energy & Commerce panel

House Democrats on Thursday voted to place Rep. Kathleen Rice (D-N.Y.) on the powerful Energy and Commerce Committee in the next Congress, selecting her over Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.).

Rice, a third-term centrist Democrat, and Ocasio-Cortez, a progressive firebrand, both jockeyed heavily for one of the few coveted slots on the committee. But the Steering Committee — which is tasked with selecting who heads and sits on committees — ultimately selected only Rice, the more senior lawmaker, to serve on the panel.
“It is an honor to be selected by my Democratic colleagues to serve on the Energy and Commerce Committee in the 117th Congress,” Rice said.
“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.”

Both lawmakers have at times been at odds with Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), with Pelosi previously blocking Rice from getting a position on the Judiciary Committee after the New York lawmaker opted not to support Pelosi for Speaker in 2019 and played a role in an attempt to oust Pelosi from her leadership role two years ago.

The Energy and Commerce Committee oversees a broad number of policy areas ranging from health care to energy, having played a critical role in shaping policy during the coronavirus pandemic. It is currently chaired by Rep. Frank Pallone Jr. (D-N.J.).

Rice currently sits on the House Homeland Security and Veterans Affairs committees.

Updated 7:58 p.m.

Tags Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Kathleen Rice Nancy Pelosi

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