House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., is being labeled a "squatter" after moving into the speaker's office despite not holding the position.
McCarthy, expecting to become speaker in the new Congress, moved into former Speaker Nancy Pelosi's office shortly after Christmas, the Washington Examiner reported.
Leadership members switched offices after Republicans won a 222-212 majority in the lower chamber for the next two years.
McCarthy failed to win the speaker position during three votes on Tuesday. The House then adjourned until Wednesday.
Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., one of five Republicans who vowed not to vote for McCarthy, sent a letter to Architect of the Capitol Brett Blanton on Tuesday night to complain about the speaker's office being occupied.
"I write to inform you that the Speaker of the House Office located in the U.S. Capitol Building is currently occupied by Rep. Kevin McCarthy. As of this morning, the 117th Congress adjourned sine die, and a Speaker from the 118th Congress has not been elected," Gaetz wrote. "After three undeciding votes, no member can lay claim to this office.
"What is the basis in law, House rule, or precedent to allow someone who has placed second in three successive speaker elections to occupy the Speaker of the House Office? How long will he remain there before he is considered a squatter?
"Please write back promptly as it seems Mr. McCarthy can no longer be considered Speaker-Designate following today's balloting."
Several other conservative lawmakers also took issue with McCarthy moving into the speaker's office, the Examiner said.
Conservative talk show host Mike Crispi ripped McCarthy, who won the GOP conference vote for speaker, for moving into the office.
"McCarthy really moved into the 'Speakers Office' with no plan on how to actually become the speaker. You're an international PUNCHLINE Kevin. We are all laughing at you," Crispi tweeted.
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