House Republicans are demanding that the Democratic lawmaker who pulled a fire alarm in the Cannon Office Building on Saturday face punishment that could include expulsion from Congress.
Democratic Rep. Jamaal Bowman, a member of the far-left progressive “squad,” was shown on a security camera image pulling the alarm, which took place not long after House Republicans unveiled a stopgap budget bill that would later pass.
Nobody “unintentionally” pulls a fire alarm. Democrat Jamaal Bowman was previously a school principal. He knows EXACTLY how fire alarms work. He committed a felony as a sitting member of Congress. Nobody is above the law. pic.twitter.com/m7Fh6rBC0r
— Savannah (@BasedSavannah) September 30, 2023
“This is the United States Congress, not a New York City high school. To pull the fire alarm to disrupt proceedings when we are trying to draft legislation to AVERT A SHUTDOWN is pathetic…even for members of the socialist squad,” she posted on X, formerly Twitter.
This is the United States Congress, not a New York City high school. This action warrants expulsion & I’m introducing a resolution to do just that. https://t.co/rfnLDzFHmK
— Office of Rep. Nicole Malliotakis (@RepMalliotakis) September 30, 2023
The terse resolution was already drafted by Saturday evening.
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy cited the Capitol incursion in his reaction to the stunt.
McCarthy said the House Ethics Committee should take the incident “seriously,” according to NBC.
“This should not go without punishment,” McCarthy said. “I’m gonna have a discussion with the Democratic leader about it. But this should not go without punishment. This is an embarrassment.”
McCarthy also called the stunt “a new low” and accused Bowman of intentionally “trying to obstruct” the proceedings.
Republican Reps. Harriet Hageman of Wyoming and Lisa McLain of Michigan said they are preparing a resolution to censure Bowman, according to Axios. A censure resolution could pass with a majority; expulsion would take a two-thirds majority.
How is it that Rep. Jamal Bowman (D-NY) can pull a fire alarm during a vote, which is clearly “interfering with a legislative proceeding,” and there be no ramifications?
Yet, protestors from across the country who came to Washington on January 6th are serving hard time in prison… pic.twitter.com/U4otQUPUAN
— Matt Rosendale (@RepRosendale) September 30, 2023
Some Democrats looked askance at the incident.
“I’d like to understand, obviously, what his explanation is,” Democratic Rep. Joe Morelle of New York said.
“A member of Congress should certainly never put people in jeopardy and this puts people in the middle of health and safety issues,” Morelle said.
Bowman said the incident was a misunderstanding.
“I thought the alarm would open the door,” Bowman said later, according to the U.K. Daily Mail.
“I was rushing to make a vote, I was trying to get to a door.”
Bowman said the widely discussed theory that he pulled the alarm as a delaying tactic was “complete BS.”
Bowman’s representative Emma Simon said it was all just a mistake, according to the New York Post.
“Congressman Bowman did not realize he would trigger a building alarm as he was rushing to make an urgent vote,” she said.
The Post noted that a false fire alarm is a misdemeanor that could be punished with up to six months in jail.