House Republicans took revenge on their Democrat colleagues for voting with eight Republican lawmakers to oust Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) as speaker of the House.
Just hours after the House voted Tuesday on the motion to vacate the speakership, House Speaker pro-tempore Patrick McHenry (R-NC) kicked Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) from her Capitol Building hideaway office. A video circulating on X showed Pelosi’s office being vacated just after Republican leadership gave the order. Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD), the second-ranking member of the House Democrat leadership, was also asked to vacate his hideaway office in retaliation on Wednesday.
The hideaway offices appeared to be courtesies extended by House Republican leadership. Both Democrat members maintain smaller offices in the congressional office buildings.
McHenry notified Pelosi of the eviction by email, Politico reported. “Please vacate the space tomorrow, the room will be re-keyed,” the email read, noting it was reassigned “for speaker office use.”
The revenge came as McCarthy took aim at Pelosi for failing to hold up her end of the agreement. She apparently promised to “back” McCarthy if the motion to vacate was used against him.
“Interesting, it was in this room, after we had won the majority and I had become speaker, Nancy Pelosi came to me, she was speaker at the time on the way out, and I told her I was having issues with getting enough votes,” McCarthy explained during a speech in the Capitol Building. “And she said, ‘What’s the problem?’ I said, ‘They want this one person can rule you out.’”
“I had the power to call the vote on her, but I never would. I lost some votes because of it,” added McCarthy, noting her promise to return the favor. “She said, ‘Just give it to them. I will always back you up. I made the same offer to [John] Boehner, and the same thing to Paul [Ryan], because I believe in the institution.’”
“I think today was a political decision by the Democrats,” McCarthy said.
Before the motion to vacate vote that led to McCarthy’s ouster, Pelosi posted on X that she would not help McCarthy remain speaker, claiming the speaker “is chosen by the Majority Party.”
“In this Congress, it is the responsibility of House Republicans to choose a nominee & elect the Speaker on the Floor. At this time there is no justification for a departure from this tradition,” she said.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), a former populist turned establishment defender, echoed Pelosi’s position. She said McCarthy was not willing to cooperate with House Democrats, and therefore, Democrats did not vote to protect McCarthy’s position.
“Reminder that a major reason McCarthy lost his speakership and didn’t get any help in the first place is because of his unwillingness to cooperate, pettiness, and publicly insulting Dems when they did help him out,” she posted on X Wednesday. “So of course they’re going to repeat that winning strategy.”
House Republicans’ “revenge” could continue, Jake Sherman of Punchbowl News appeared to warn Democrats. “Whether you think it’s right or wrong, Republicans are going to exact revenge for a long while over the MTV [motion to vacate] vote,” he posted on X Wednesday. “Yes, it was an internal party squabble. but the GOP thinks Dems shouldn’t have sided w Gaetz.”