“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 in a statement on Tuesday, “It is now the responsibility of the G.O.P. members to end the House Republican civil war.”