Shortly after assuming the role of speaker pro tempore following Rep. Kevin McCarthy’s removal on Tuesday, Patrick McHenry directed former Speaker Nancy Pelosi to vacate her Capitol hideaway office. An email obtained by Politico and addressed to Pelosi’s office explicitly stated, “Please vacate the space tomorrow, the room will be re-keyed.” It further conveyed that the room was slated for use as a speaker’s office.
Pelosi is presently utilizing a hideway office designated for a select few members. Given her status as speaker emerita, McCarthy had granted her permission to occupy this space. McHenry, who aligns with McCarthy, evidently holds a different perspective on the matter. Pelosi criticized the decision, characterizing it as “a sharp departure from tradition.”
However, Pelosi might encounter challenges in complying with the directive due to her current commitment in San Francisco, where she is participating in memorial services for her late friend and former Senator, Dianne Feinstein, who passed away last week. Pelosi expressed her regret, explaining, “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.”
This absence also meant Pelosi was unable to participate in Tuesday’s vote that led to McCarthy’s removal. The motion to vacate the chair, initiated by Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida, led to a historic House-wide vote, with eight Republicans aligning with 208 Democrats to support McCarthy’s removal from the position.