Shortly after a historic vote to oust Kevin McCarthy from the speakership, House Republican leadership informed former Speaker Nancy Pelosi that she must vacate her Capitol hideaway office on Wednesday.
“With all of the important decisions that the new Republican Leadership must address, which we are all eagerly awaiting, one of the first actions taken by the new Speaker Pro Tempore was to order me to immediately vacate my office in the Capitol,” Pelosi said in a statement on Tuesday.
The news was delivered by the House Administration Committee on Tuesday evening, in a message that said the speaker pro tempore was reassigning the hideaway for speaker office use and that the space would be “re-keyed.”
Rep. Patrick T. McHenry, R-N.C., assumed the acting role of speaker pro tempore after the vote that brought down McCarthy.
Congressional hideaways are unlisted offices in the Capitol, conveniently located near the chambers, used by members of the Senate and select members of the House. Pelosi called the “eviction” a “sharp departure from tradition,” and said that in her first stint as speaker, from 2007 to 2011, she gave former Speaker Dennis Hastert “a significantly larger suite of offices for as long as he wished.”
McCarthy became the first House speaker ever to be removed via a floor vote after a disgruntled bloc of Republicans, led by Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz, teamed with Democrats to boot him on a 216-210 vote. Pelosi has been in California following the death of Sen. Dianne Feinstein, whose funeral will be held Thursday, and was not present for the vote.
“Sadly, because I am in California to mourn the loss of and pay tribute to my dear friend Dianne Feinstein, I am unable to retrieve my belongings at this time,” Pelosi’s statement said. Her staff began to move belongings from the hideaway on Tuesday night.
“Office space doesn’t matter to me, but it seems to be important to them,” Pelosi said in the statement. “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.”