Rep. Patrick McHenry, in one of his first actions as speaker pro tempore, directed former House speaker Nancy Pelosi to “immediately” vacate her hideaway office in the U.S. Capitol by Wednesday.
An email was sent to Mrs. Pelosi’s office on Tuesday saying the “room will be re-keyed” and reassigned for “speaker use,” Politico first reported.
The move came just hours after Mr. McHenry, North Carolina Republican, was named House speaker pro tempore after the ouster of Speaker Kevin McCarthy by eight GOP rebel lawmakers and the entire Democratic Caucus in a historic vote Tuesday.
Mrs. Pelosi, California Democrat, was allowed to keep her Capitol office despite no longer being part of her party’s leadership.
“This eviction is a sharp departure from tradition,” she said in a statement from her office in response to this demand from Mr. McHenry. She added that when she was speaker, ‘I gave former Speaker (Dennis) Hastert a significantly larger suite of offices for as long as he wished.”
Mrs. Pelosi noted that because she is in California “mourning the loss of and paying tribute to my dear friend Dianne Feinstein,” she would not be able to retrieve her belongings. Sen. Feinstein, California Democrat, died last week at age 90.
Staffers of House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, New York Democrat, helped move out Mrs. Pelosi’s office late Tuesday evening, the outlet reported. A television and bags were spotted by reporters outside the office before they were taken away.
“Office space doesn’t matter to me, but it seems to be important to them,” Mrs. Pelosi added. “Now that the new Republican Leadership has settled this important matter, let’s hope they get to work on what’s truly important for the American people.”
Mr. McCarthy said he confided in Mrs. Pelosi over the problems he had capturing the speaker’s gavel back in January. Mr. McCarthy faced difficult opposition from hard-line conservative members of his party.
“She said, ‘Just give it to them. I’ll always back you up,’” Mr. McCarthy recalled.
Mrs. Pelosi was not present and was in California for the funeral of Ms. Feinstein, however, when the House voted to eject Mr. McCarthy as House speaker.