Pelosi’s office pushed back, pointed to COVID-19 restrictions put in place by Sergeant at Arms, Attending Physician
Posted on behalf of streetjustice.
Republican Rep. Claudia Tenney claimed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi stopped her son, an active duty Marine, be there for her swearing-in ceremony — but Pelosi’s office tells Fox News the reason for this was due to COVID-19 restrictions put in place by the House Sergeant at Arms and the congressional Attending Physician.
The race for New York’s 22nd Congressional Race, Tenney’s district, wasn’t decided until this week—after more than three months since the November election and dozens of days in court.
Tenney, R-N.Y., defeated Democratic incumbent Rep. Anthony Brindisi by 109 votes, a New York State Supreme Court justice ruled last week. Tenney was first elected to Congress in 2016, with Brindisi ousting her in 2018.
Tenney was set to be sworn in on Thursday on Capitol Hill, and said she requested to have her son, a graduate of the Naval Academy and an active duty Marine, join her for the ceremony.
“I just would have loved to have my son with me. I raised him as a single parent,” Tenney said on “Fox & Friends” Friday. “We’ve been with each other, nothing greater day than his graduation from the U.S. Naval Academy, it was such an honor and now he is serving our country.”
Tenney said her request was denied by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, despite other members who were sworn in last month being allowed to have one family member present.
“We’ve asked repeatedly, can I just have my son in the gallery,” Tenney said, adding it was not like she requested him to be on the House floor. “There was no reason indicated.”
Tenney claimed there were “no discussion of COVID,” and added that her son “manages COVID protocols” in the marines.
“It was nice of him to take time out of his busy job serving our country to come and support me as I got sworn into the House,” Tenney said, adding that him not being able to be physically with her during the swearing in was “very disappointing and we got no real answers as to why this was denied.”
She added: “He was disappointed. He just wanted to be there for me. We are very close.”
But Pelosi spokesman Drew Hammill told Fox News that the reason for this was due to COVID-19 restrictions–which he said is not something the speaker’s office handles.
“The COVID restrictions are set by the House Sergeant at Arms and the Attending Physician,” Hammill told Fox News.
Hammill said that the decision “has nothing to do with politics” and said that “the same thing would happen to a Democratic member.”
As for opening day of the new Congress on Jan. 3, Hammill told Fox News that the Attending Physician and the Sergeant at Arms gave a special dispensation because they knew a large number of members would be traveling with family members.
Hammill confirmed that the gallery is closed, and said that the decision for the gallery to be closed had nothing to do with any individual member or any individual guest, adding that there are no tours and no guests currently happening at the Capitol.
Hammill pointed to the stringent COVID-19 protections on Capitol Hill.
Earlier this week, Republican Rep. Ron Wright of Texas died after testing positive for COVID-19 last month.