Republican Rep. Claudia Tenney (R-NY) has accused Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) of stopping her son, who is an active duty Marine, from attending her swearing in ceremony. Pelosi has denied this, with her office claiming that he only could not attend because of 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 was only just decided this week, with Tenney being declared the victor over Democratic incumbent Rep. Anthony Brindisi by 109 votes, as decided by the New York Supreme Court. Tenney was first elected to Congress in 2016, only to be ousted by Brindisi in 2018.
Tenney was sworn in on Thursday, and she asked 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 told Fox News on 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 claimed that Pelosi denied her request despite allowing other members who were sworn in last month being to have one family member present.
“We’ve asked repeatedly, can I just have my son in the gallery,” Tenney said, pointing out that she didn’t even ask for him to be on the House floor. “There was no reason indicated.”
She went on to say that there was “no discussion of COVID,” adding that her son “manages COVID protocols” in the Marines.
“We just thought it was the least we could ask,” Tenney said, saying that her son eventually just “waited outside the gallery door.”
“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. She continued by saying that not having her son there was “very disappointing and we got no real answers as to why this was denied.”
“He was disappointed,” she concluded. “He just wanted to be there for me. We are very close.”
Pelosi spokesman Drew Hammill denied this, chalking up the reason behind Tenney’s son not being allowed to attend to coronavirus restrictions, something he says the Speaker does not handle.
“The COVID restrictions are set by the House Sergeant at Arms and the Attending Physician,” Hammill said, adding that this “has nothing to do with politics” and said that “the same thing would happen to a Democratic member.”