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Former Speaker Nancy Pelosi has accused the new interim House speaker, Patrick McHenry of ordering her on Tuesday to leave her office in the U.S. Capitol Building, only hours after an abrupt change-up in leadership. In a statement to NPR, Pelosi (D-Calif.) said that she was asked “immediately” to vacate her office. “With all the important decisions the new Republican Leadership will have to make, which we all await, the new Speaker Pro Tempore ordered me to leave my office immediately in the Capitol,” wrote Pelosi, referring McHenry to his new title. NPR reviewed the text of a message that was sent by Pelosi to her staff on Tuesday at 6:11pm. The email asked them to remove all their belongings before Wednesday. “The Speaker pro-tempore will reassign H-132 to the speaker’s office.” Please vacate the space tomorrow, the room will be re-keyed,” the email reads.
Pelosi, like most members of the House, maintains a regular office in the Cannon House Building, which is just across the street from the Capitol. As a former Speaker, Pelosi also has access to an exclusive space in the Capitol. The speaker is the only person who can decide on Capitol real estate. She said that “this eviction is an abrupt departure from tradition” in her statement. She added: “As Speaker I gave former House Speaker Hastert an significantly larger suite for as long he wanted,” referring to the former Rep. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.), who served as speaker of the House from 1999 to 2007. Pelosi, even when she was speaker herself, broke with tradition in managing her office spaces. She gave the office that was assigned to Vice President Mike Pence to the White House Legislative Affairs team after quietly taking it away from him. Pelosi has said that she will not be able to remove her possessions from her office because she is currently out of Washington, D.C. The California Democrat who missed the vote on Tuesday said that she was back in California to pay tribute Diane Feinstein, a long-serving California Senator who passed away last week. Feinstein will lie in state on Wednesday at San Francisco City Hall, ahead of Thursday’s funeral services. Pelosi stated that the office space “doesn’t matter” in the end to her but “it appears to be important to them”. “Now that the Republican Leadership has resolved this important matter, we hope they can get back to what’s really important for the American People,” she wrote in a statement.
NPR reached out to McHenry’s office for comment but had not received a reply by the time this article was published.
The Republican from North Carolina was named speaker pro tempore on Tuesday after eight Republicans sided with House Democrats in a vote to oust Kevin McCarthy.