WASHINGTON — Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi accused new interim Speaker Patrick McHenry on Tuesday night of kicking her out of her workspace in the Capitol just hours after the chamber’s abrupt change in leadership.
Pelosi, D-Calif., said in a statement that she was told she had to “immediately” move out of her so-called hideaway office in the Capitol.
“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,” Pelosi said in a statement, referring to McHenry, R-N.C., by his new title.
Most House lawmakers have their offices in buildings across the street, but Pelosi has had one in the Capitol because she is a former speaker.
NBC News has viewed an email purportedly from the House Administration Committee to Pelosi’s staff ordering her to move out of the workspace — which is controlled by the speaker’s office — by Wednesday.
“The Speaker pro tempore is going to re-assign H-132 for speaker office use. Please vacate the space tomorrow, the room will be re-keyed,” the email reads.
A source familiar with the situation said that “this decision was made by the former Speaker’s office, not the Committee on House Administration.”
A spokesman for former Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., declined to comment. McHenry’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment Tuesday evening.
McHenry took over as interim speaker after eight Republicans joined Democrats in voting to oust McCarthy as speaker, an effort that was initiated by Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla.
Pelosi was not present for Tuesday’s vote.
“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 said in her statement.
Sen. Feinstein died last week at age 90.
“This eviction is a sharp departure from tradition,” Pelosi added in her statement.
“As Speaker, I gave former Speaker [Dennis] 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,” Pelosi said.
Pelosi was the first female speaker of the House, and she served in that role for a total of eight years, from 2007 to 2011 and again from 2019 until 2023.
Pelosi was the Democratic leader in the House for two decades. In November, her Democratic colleagues voted to grant her the ceremonial title of “Speaker Emerita.”
Rebecca is a producer and off-air reporter covering Congress for NBC News, managing coverage of the House.
Ali Vitali is a Capitol Hill correspondent for NBC News, based in Washington.
Sahil Kapur is a senior national political reporter for NBC News.
Kyle Stewart is an associate producer covering Congress for NBC News.