Republican Rep. Claudia Tenney claimed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi stopped her son, an active duty Marine, be there for her swearing-in ceremony.
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.
“Pelosi allowed a COVID positive member to be in the chamber…just so she could vote for Pelosi on the floor of the House,” Tenney said, referring to Rep. Frederica Wilson, D-Fla. It is unclear if Wilson was COVID positive, or whether she was in quarantine status after exposure. Wilson voted in a plexiglass enclosure.
“We just thought it was the least we could ask,” Tenney said, adding that her son, ultimately “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, 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.”