Democratic Rep. Jamaal Bowman pulled a fire alarm Saturday inside a House office building just before Congress voted on a package to stop a government shutdown, according to a statement from his spokesperson.
The House voted on a GOP funding package in a 335 to 91 vote Saturday, just hours before the midnight deadline that extends funding for another 45 days to prevent a government shutdown, according to NBC News. Prior to the vote, a fire alarm was set off by Bowman as Democrats scrambled to delay the proceedings in order to read the bill, according to a statement released by Emma Simon, Bowman’s spokesperson.
“Congressman Bowman did not realize he would trigger a building alarm as he was rushing to make an urgent vote. The Congressman regrets any confusion,” Simon said, according to Axios reporter Andrew Solender
House Administration Committee Chairman Bryan Steil confirmed the incident and said that an investigation is “underway,” according to a post on Twitter.
It is illegal for an individual to “wilfully or knowingly give a false alarm of fire within the District of Columbia,” according to a district law. Bowman could be charged with a misdemeanor and face a sentence of up to six months in prison with a fine of no more than $100.
Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene posted a video of the fire alarm going off ahead of the vote on Twitter.
Fire alarm is going off in Cannon. pic.twitter.com/lTcgscarND
— Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene???????? (@RepMTG) September 30, 2023
Republican Rep. Nicole Malliotakis of New York told The New York Post that she would work to ensure that Bowman was expelled from office for the stunt and GOP Rep. Nick Langworthy of New York said that a “criminal investigation needs to happen.”
Republican Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy of California told reporters during a press conference following the vote that he was “appalled” by the “Democrats’ actions today.”
“I was really appalled watching Democrats’ actions today, to delay it to get to a shutdown,” McCarthy said. “But when we found that an individual elected to Congress would pull a fire alarm, that’s a new low. We’ve watched how people have been treated if they’ve done something wrong in this Capitol. It will be interesting to see how he is treated on what he was trying to obstruct when it came to the American public. “
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