House censures Rep. Jamal Bowman for pulling fire alarm

Rep. Jamal Bowman, DNY., voted Thursday to pull the fire alarm in a congressional building while the House was in session in September to consider a vote to fund the government.

The 214 to 191 vote was largely along party lines, with Democratic Reps. Chris Pappas of New Hampshire, Jahana Hayes of Connecticut and Mary Klusenkamp Perez of Washington voting yes, along with other Republicans.

Democratic Reps. Glenn Ivey of Maryland, Susan Wild and Chrissy Houlahan of Pennsylvania, Deborah Rose of North Carolina and Rep. Andy Harris of Maryland, Republican, voted against it.

Representative. Rep. Lisa McClain, R-Mich., on Tuesday introduced a privilege motion to censure Bowman. The House on Wednesday rejected a Democratic motion to kill McClain’s resolution in a party-line vote of 201 to 216.

Bowman admitted to pulling the alarm when Republican lawmakers tried to vote on the spending measure in the Cannon House office building in September. He said in a statement after the incident that he had accidentally set off the alarm when he saw a door that was normally open for votes but would not be open that day.

Bowman pleaded guilty in October to improperly pulling a fire alarm. Under a deferred prosecution agreement, he was ordered to pay a $1,000 fine and apologize to the U.S. Capitol police chief, after which prosecutors would drop the pending charges of violating the statute.

Former Rep. George Santos, R.N.Y., had introduced a resolution to expel Bowman last week, but Santos himself was expelled from the House before the resolution could come to a vote.

Republicans have accused Bowman of trying to delay a government funding vote by pulling the trigger. In September, then-Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., called for Bowman to be punished and compared the incident to the Capitol riots on Jan. 6, 2021.

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McCarthy was quoted as saying “when other people came in they wanted to change how they were treated and what was going on in the building.”

But Bowman said his actions were accidental.

“I want to be very clear that this was not me, in any way, trying to delay any vote. It was the opposite — I was trying to rush the vote, which I eventually did and joined my colleagues in a bipartisan effort to keep our government open,” he said in a statement at the time. .

“I’m ashamed to admit that I activated the fire alarm, mistakenly thinking it would open the door,” he added. “I regret this and apologize for the confusion this has caused.”

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