By Parker Leipzig
Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-5th) and House Speaker Emerita Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) were evicted Tuesday from their United States Capitol hideaway offices in the aftermath of the ousting of former Speaker Kevin McCarthy.
The ejection of Hoyer and Pelosi from their hideaway offices was one of the first acts of the new interim speaker, Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.).
Hoyer’s communications team confirmed reports that he was ordered out of his hideaway, but declined any further comment on the matter in a statement to Capital News Service.
A veteran of the House since 1981, Hoyer twice has served as House majority leader: from 2007 until 2011 and 2019 until January of this year.
Pelosi, who was speaker until January when the Republican majority took charge, was not able to move her things out of her hideaway herself because she was in California for Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s funeral. Feinstein, the longest-serving female senator in U.S. history, died last week at age 90.
“Office space doesn’t matter to me, but it seems to be important to them,” Pelosi said in a statement. “Now that the new Republican Leadership has settled this important matter, let’s hope they get to work on what’s truly important for the American people.”
“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, ” she said.
The former speaker said the “eviction is a sharp departure from tradition,” and noted that she gave former speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) “a significantly larger suite of offices for as long as he wished.”
However, Pelosi deviated from custom as well when she was speaker and revoked Mike Pence’s House office space while he was the vice president, instead giving it to the White House legislative affairs team.
Both Pelosi and Hoyer occupied large suites of offices in the Capitol when they were in their leadership posts.
Capitol hideaways became a tradition and treasured perk as Congress expanded in size and lawmakers desired more space and privacy to conduct their work. All current senior lawmakers have their own assigned hideaways, but the location of these offices are meant to be kept secret, as are who works in each one.
These discreet offices — behind unmarked doors — are often used by lawmakers to meet with staff and colleagues, to find a quiet place to rest, or to speak about delicate matters without fear of being overheard. Hideaways have become less secret in recent years as some senators and House members have allowed their staffs to work and hold small meetings in the private spaces.
Hoyer and Pelosi both will continue to maintain their larger offices in the Longworth House Office Building across from the Capitol.