Capitol Hill was rocked this week by a historic vote to remove House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) from his leadership position.
His interim replacement, U.S. Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-NC), wasted little time handing down his first decree — and it took aim squarely at the person who held the post prior to McCarthy.
In an email to Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), McHenry advised her to retrieve her belongings from an office she held onto after her party lost a majority in the chamber. She had refused to give up the space under McCarthy’s leadership.
“Please vacate the space tomorrow, the room will be re-keyed,” the North Carolina Republican wrote on Tuesday.
He went on to advise that the area would be designated for “speaker office use” going forward.
Pelosi’s office bristled at the demand and the congresswoman offered a preemptive excuse for not complying.
“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,” she asserted in a statement released by her staff.
The California Democrat went on to denounce McHenry’s move as “a sharp departure from tradition,” noting that she “gave former Speaker [Dennis] Hastert a significantly larger suite of offices for as long as he wished.”
Nancy Pelosi calls the sudden ejection from her former office “a sharp departure from tradition.”
Know what else is a departure from tradition Nancy?
Making up evidence to impeach a president – twice.
Turning a simple trespassing event into a national insurrection.
— James Bradley (@JamesBradleyCA) October 4, 2023
Pelosi added that she was in California for the funeral of U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and would be “unable to retrieve [her] belongings at this time.”
A subsequent statement indicated that House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) was able to help clear the space.
After a short and tumultuous term as speaker, McCarthy’s ouster now leaves the House — and members of its narrow GOP majority in particular — in the position of choosing a new leader.
Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-LA) is seen by many as McCarthy’s natural successor. He is currently battling cancer but asserted that he feels “great” when asked whether he would be physically capable of taking on the leadership role.
“No matter who is going to be the next speaker, the challenges still remain but I think the opportunity is there to continue moving forward and we set a precedent last week for how to start coming together to get appropriations bills done,” Scalise said on Tuesday.