The seething anger from the ouster of Speaker Kevin McCarthy has now spread to highly coveted congressional real estate. Former Speaker Nancy Pelosi has been evicted from her hideaway office in the Capitol by the Republican-controlled House Administration Committee and was ordered to vacate by the close of business on Wednesday.
Mr. McCarthy plans to take over Ms. Pelosi’s hideaway next week, a person familiar with the machinations said. Hideaways are small suites conveniently located in the Capitol itself, close to votes on the House floor and all of the action.
Representative Steny H. Hoyer, another former Democratic leader, has been evicted from his hideaway as well.
Ms. Pelosi said late Tuesday that she had been kicked out of the space by Representative Patrick T. McHenry, Republican of North Carolina and the speaker pro tempore, who is a close ally of Mr. McCarthy. But according to the person familiar with the situation, the decision to evict Ms. Pelosi had in fact been made by Mr. McCarthy on his way out of the door.
Mainstream Republicans are furious that Democrats did not help rescue Mr. McCarthy by casting a handful of votes that might have saved his job. Democrats respond that they did not trust Mr. McCarthy and that saving him was not their responsibility. They also say that Republicans should focus their fury on the far-right defectors.
Either way, the office suites in question, known as hideaways, constitute prized real estate in the Capitol. (Ms. Pelosi will keep her official office in the Cannon House Office Building and Mr. Hoyer will keep his in the Longworth building.)
The hideaways are places for respite between floor votes or for having after-hours drinks with colleagues. A Capitol hideaway is a perk mostly reserved for U.S. senators and for House leaders, though speakers have at their disposal a few spaces to dole out at their whim. In the summer of 2021, Ms. Pelosi assigned a hideaway to Representative Liz Cheney, the No. 3 Republican who had joined the House Jan. 6 committee as its vice chairwoman and was receiving death threats.
More commonly, speakers offer hideaways to their predecessors. Ms. Pelosi did so in late 2006 for the outgoing speaker, Dennis Hastert, a Republican. Mr. McCarthy extended the same courtesy earlier this year to Ms. Pelosi. He then offered an additional hideaway to Mr. Hoyer, who as majority leader had been Mr. McCarthy’s frequent negotiating partner.
The eviction notices issued yesterday, first reported by Politico, are widely seen as payback by Mr. McCarthy, although the act of retribution is one that Mr. McHenry could have reversed.
“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,” Ms. Pelosi said in a statement on Tuesday night. “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.” Ms. Feinstein, the longtime senator from California, died last week.
As speaker, Mr. McCarthy had teamed with Democrats to raise the debt ceiling and pass a short-term spending bill despite opposition by the far right. The fact that Democrats overlooked those efforts and instead joined eight rebel Republicans in ousting Mr. McCarthy struck Mr. McHenry, a person close to him said, as a case of no good deed going unpunished, arguably warranting punishment of its own.
Known as a subdued and nonconfrontational conservative legislator, Mr. McHenry’s dyspeptic mood was evident on Tuesday afternoon when he adjourned the House by rapping the speaker’s gavel with startling force, as if trying to crush a poisonous spider.
Mr. McCarthy said on Tuesday that Ms. Pelosi had months ago vowed to him, “I’ll always back you up” if there was ever an effort to oust him. Mr. McHenry had received similar assurances from Mr. Hoyer, the person familiar with the situation said, which a spokesperson for Mr. Hoyer did not dispute when asked to comment. In the end, Mr. Hoyer sided with his fellow Democrats, while Ms. Pelosi skipped the vote to return to California for Ms. Feinstein’s funeral.
Ms. Pelosi has not disputed Mr. McCarthy’s account of her earlier pledge to back him, but it is not surprising that she left him to twist in the wind. She has openly disdained Mr. McCarthy, and she and other prominent Democrats, including Representative Hakeem Jeffries of New York, the minority leader, have frequently criticized what they call Mr. McCarthy’s coddling of former President Donald J. Trump.
The current void in Republican leadership, they maintain, is not their mess to clean up. As Mr. Jeffries said Tuesday on the House floor, “It is now the responsibility of the G.O.P. members to end the House Republican Civil War.”