As one of the first orders of business for the day, after the removal of House Speaker Kevin McCarthy in a historic decision on Tuesday, Speaker Pro Tempore Patrick McHenry ordered former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to vacate her office in the Capitol building while she was away for the funeral of a friend.
“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 night. “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 added: “This eviction is a sharp departure from tradition. As speaker, I gave former [Republican] speaker [Dennis] Hastert a significantly larger suite of offices for as long as he wished.”
Feinstein was the longest-serving female senator. She died last week at 90. After her death, Pelosi, 83, has earned a similar reputation on Capitol Hill as her friend. Pelosi served as the House Speaker from 2007 to 2011 and 2019 to 2023.
According to Politico, an email from a Republican aide to the House administration committee told Pelosi: “Please vacate the space tomorrow, the room will be re-keyed.” The office would be reassigned for “speaker office use”.
Speakers traditionally give their predecessor access to “hideaway” offices near the House floor after the latter steps down. McCarthy accorded Pelosi the usual office-based courtesy. However, all of that changed after the Democrats refused to support McCarthy when eight members of his own party rebelled against him and called his ouster.
Pelosi said: “Office space doesn’t matter to me, but it seems to be important to them. 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.”