Washington : Former US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said that Republican Representative Patrick McHenry, who was named the interim Speaker after Kevin McCarthy’s ouster in a historic no-confidence vote, has asked her to vacate her office in the Capitol building.
Pelosi, who served as the Speaker until January 2 this year, maintains her regular office in the Cannon House office building, reports CNN.
An email sent from McHenry’s office to Pelosi’s office just after 6 p.m. on Tuesday stated: “Going to reassign h-132 for speaker office use. Please vacate the space tomorrow.”
In response, Pelosi said in a statement on Tuesday night that she was not in Washington D.C. to immediately move her belongings.
“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,” the California Democrat said.
“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.”
Feinstein, whose three decades in the Senate made her the longest-serving female US senator in history, died last week at age 90 following months of declining health.
She will lie in state at San Francisco City Hall on Wednesday ahead of funeral services on Thursday.
Pelosi added in her statement that the “eviction is a sharp departure from tradition”, saying: “As Speaker, I gave former Speaker Hastert a significantly larger suite of offices for as long as he wished.
“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.”
As speaker pro tempore, McHenry’s official title, the North Carolina Republican ongressman will preside over the vote and selection of the next House Speaker, with the ability to recess the chamber, adjourn it and recognise nominations.
McCarthy as speaker was required to submit a confidential list to the clerk of people “in the order in which each shall act as Speaker pro tempore in the case of a vacancy”, according to House rules.
McHenry, a strong ally of McCarthy, was the top name on that list, reports CNN.
Amid party infighting, the Republican-controlled House of Representatives on Tuesday night approved a motion to oust McCarthy in an unprecedented move, days after he relied on Democratic votes to pass a “clean” stopgap funding bill to avert a federal government shutdown.
The 216-210 vote came nearly nine months after McCarthy won the position in a dramatic 15-round floor fight, marking the first time in US history that a House speaker has been ousted from office in a no-confidence vote in the middle of a term.