House Republicans have begun their revenge on Democrats for helping to oust Kevin McCarthy as speaker by kicking out top members of that party from private offices in the Capitol.
Steny Hoyer, the former Democratic leader who is well-liked and respected in his party, lost his Capitol office Wednesday morning — the morning after Republicans kicked Nancy Pelosi out of hiding.
Democratic Rep. Annie Kuster of New Hampshire called the move “petty.”
“I’ve heard about that pettiness, and honestly, I understand it started when Kevin McCarthy left on his way out the door. I certainly hope that the mood improves,” she told CNN.
Speaker Pro Temp Patrick McHenry gave the orders shortly after taking over as speaker. The majority party has all the power on Capitol Hill and controls office space and meeting rooms.
Steny Hoyer, a former member of the Democratic leadership, lost his Capitol office on Wednesday as Republicans retaliated against Democrats
All signs of McCarty’s tenure were removed Wednesday. The nameplate above the speaker’s office, which read Kevin McCarthy, was removed. McCarthy was the shortest-serving speaker since 1875, and the only one in U.S. history to be voted out of the leadership by fellow members.
Pelosi described her expulsion as a “sharp departure from tradition.”
Traditionally, former speakers are given office space in the Capitol. Former Republican Chairman John Boehner has such an office space.
Pelosi will maintain her congressional office in the Canon House Office Building. But office space on the House side of the Capitol is at a premium, and it’s a sign of power to have space allocated there.
“Office space doesn’t matter to me, but it seems important to them,” she said. “Now that the new Republican Leadership has resolved this important issue, let’s hope they get to work on what really matters to the American people.”
Pelosi was the first female Speaker of the House of Representatives, and she served in that role for a total of eight years, from 2007 to 2011 and again from 2019 to 2023. In November, her Democratic colleagues voted to grant her the ceremonial title of “Speaker.” . Emerita.’
Pelosi is in San Francisco for the funeral of the late Senator Dianne Feinstein. Her staff received an email Tuesday evening telling them to “vacate the area tomorrow” and the locks would be changed.
Hoyer was also served with an eviction notice.
The move was seen as revenge on behalf of Republicans for not joining Democrats to prevent McCarthy’s removal as chairman.
Former Speaker Nancy Pelosi was kicked out of her Capitol office on Tuesday evening, shortly after Kevin McCarthy was removed as speaker
Patrick McHenry is speaker pro-temp until a new speaker is elected
All Democrats in the House of Representatives, along with eight conservative Republicans, voted to dismiss McCarthy.
McCarthy’s impeachment came after an uprising by conservative Republicans.
McCarthy blamed Pelosi for his impeachment and said she had promised to support him if a motion to impeach him was made. His nemesis, conservative Rep. Matt Gaetz, made the formal motion to “vacate the seat,” initiating the process of removing a speaker from power.
“I think today it was a political decision by the Democrats. And I think the things that they’ve done in the past have damaged the institution,” McCarthy said Tuesday night shortly after the vote to impeach him.
He said he spoke to Nancy Pelosi during his marathon speakership campaign in January and told her about conservatives’ demands that he change House rules so one lawmaker could make the motion to “vacate the seat.”
McCarthy said Pelosi told him to give in to conservatives and told him she would always support him, implying he thought he had support from Democrats to fight back against the legislative move.
But Democrats were clear Tuesday that they saw the speakership as a Republican problem.
“This issue is about Republican dysfunction,” said Rep. Mark Takano. “We have no obligation to elect a Republican chairman. But we have no special obligation to save this speaker either. So there is no obligation or sense that we have to do anything to save the speaker.”
“We are not here to keep Kevin McCarthy in power. This is their problem. If they have the votes to keep him, then so be it,” said Rep. Jim McGovern.
Democratic Rep. Abigail Spanberger said of McCarthy, “He made his bed.”
Patrick McHenry (top left) is a close ally of Kevin McCarthy (right)
A photo from the Capitol showed items from Pelosi’s office being packed up Tuesday evening while the Democrat was in California to attend Feinstein’s funeral.
McCarthy said Tuesday night that he would not run for speaker again, leaving the gavel up for grabs.
The next steps are highly uncertain and there is no clear successor to lead the Republican majority in the House of Representatives.
Action in the House of Representatives is on hold until next week, when Republicans will try to elect a new speaker.