OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
Liberal Democrats erupted on social media after the acting GOP House Speaker ordered former Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) to vacate her plush congressional office as one of his first official acts.
Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.), who took over the gavel temporarily after a handful of Republicans and all Democrats ousted now-former Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) earlier this week, sent Pelosi the eviction notice the following day, angering members of her party.
Pelosi herself was among the first to criticize the move.
“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,” she said on Wednesday.
She added, “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.”
Several other Pelosi backers also posted online.
Arnold Schwarzenegger’s ex-wife Maria Shriver wrote: “What in the name of God? We best all wake up. This is way bigger than Kevin McCarthy. We all have to realize that our country and its future is on the line right now.”
Rep. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.) added, “Republicans have no class. The problem is not just that they are incompetent—it’s that they are mean and petty.”
“By the way, Nancy Pelosi is in California for the funeral of her dear friend, Diane Feinstein,” the lawmaker noted further.
Claude Taylor, a left-wing author, remarked, “So petty.”
Rep. Nydia Velazquez (D-N.Y.) also blasted the move: “While Nancy Pelosi is in California mourning the loss of her longtime friend, @PatrickMcHenry does this. From top to bottom the @HouseGOP are classless and shameful people who are desperate to score cheap political points rather than govern.”
McHenry ordered Pelosi to vacate her plush office immediately, adding that it would be “re-keyed” after she left.
“Please vacate the space tomorrow, the room will be re-keyed,” said an email sent to Pelosi’s office that was seen by Politico. The email noted further that the room would be used “for speaker office use.”
Initially, it was thought that McHenry, in his official capacity, made the decision, but it turns out it actually came from the ousted McCarthy, according to CNN.
Why? Because McCarthy wants Pelosi’s office.
The outlet reports:
Kevin McCarthy was behind interim Speaker Patrick McHenry’s move to kick former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and former Majority Leader Steny Hoyer out of their office spaces, two Republican sources told CNN.
GOP Rep. Garret Graves told reporters on Wednesday that McCarthy is getting the office that McHenry has ordered her to vacate.
“Look, the deal is that the office that Pelosi is in right now is the office of the preceding speaker. Speaker Pelosi and other Democrats determined that they wanted a new … speaker, and it’s Kevin McCarthy. So, he’s getting the office,” Graves said.
“I don’t know what they’re complaining about,” Graves added about Democratic grumbling. “They created this situation.”
Pelosi was using a hideaway office which is a perk to which only a handful of members are privvy. Because she was a former speaker, McCarthy allowed her to continue using the office, but obviously, McHenry — a McCarthy ally — isn’t on board with it.
Politico noted that “House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries’ staff helped Pelosi’s office make the move, according to a spokesperson for the former speaker.”
The final vote to vacate the Speaker’s chair on Tuesday was 216 to 210. McCarthy has said since his ouster that he would not seek the position again.