Rep. Charlie RangelCharles (Charlie) Bernard RangelEsty seeks Ethics investigation into her own conduct Midterms may hinge on how voters view sexual misconduct Expect more bad behavior until Congress cleans up ethics rules MORE (D-N.Y.) accused House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of having a role in Thursday's defeat of Rep. John DingellJohn DingellOvernight Health Care: Rep. Debbie Dingell on the pain and tragedy of the opioids crisis | DEA moves to curb opioid oversupply | Dem says Trump pick opposes VA privatization Debbie Dingell has seen opioids tragedy and pain up close Ex-congressman: I wasn't planning to buy Comey book until Trump's Twitter meltdown MORE (D-Mich.) by Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) for control of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

"I assume that not playing a role is playing a role," Rangel, Chairman of the House Committee on Ways and Means, told the Washington Post after the Democratic Caucus voted to oust Dingell.

"It's just been buried," Rangel said of the long-standing principle of seniority for Democratic leadership in the House. Rangel had backed Dingell's bid to retain his chairmanship.

The 137-122 vote displaces the veteran Michigan Democrat, who has been either chairman or ranking member of the committee overseeing energy and environmental legislation since 1981. Dingell's southeast Michigan district is largely dependent on the automotive industry, and Dingell has made a point of opposing potentially costly regulations for automakers over the years.

-Michael O'Brien