House Majority Leader Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD) and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) walk from the House floor where members debate the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) to the speaker’s office in the U.S. Capitol on December 19, 2019 in Washington, DC.
Sarah Silbiger | Getty Images
WASHINGTON — Republican leaders abruptly evicted two high-profile Democrats from their longtime Capitol hideaway offices without explanation after the House removed Kevin McCarthy as its speaker.
Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and ex-Majority Leader Steny Hoyer were both told that their small but coveted second offices within the Capitol will be “re-assigned,” NBC News confirmed.
Spokespeople for McCarthy and the new temporary speaker, Rep. Patrick McHenry, R-N.C., did not immediately respond when asked what spurred the evictions.
Pelosi, who retains her district seat from California, noted that the eviction notice came as she was traveling to San Francisco for the funeral of her long-time friend, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, who died Friday,
The harsh break with tradition came after Democrats sided with eight breakaway Republicans on Tuesday to oust McCarthy as speaker,
“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 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 noted that after she was first elected speaker, she gave her predecessor, former Republican Rep. Dennis Hastert of Illinois, a large suite of offices in the Capitol to use as long as he wanted.
“Office space doesn’t matter to me, but it seems to be important to them,” she said Tuesday.
The hideaway offices in the Capitol, which are considered perks, are doled out by the party in power to leaders on both sides of the aisle.
Despite losing their hideaway Capitol spaces, Pelosi and Hoyer will both retain their big congressional offices in the Longworth House Office Building.
Republican lawmakers are furious with Democrats for siding with the hardline conservatives and their leader, Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., in his motion to remove McCarthy as speaker.
A longtime McCarthy antagonist, Gaetz is considered by many rank-and-file Republicans to be more interested in grabbing public attention than in legislating.