Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-N.Y.) pulled a fire alarm in the Cannon House office building amidst efforts to avert a shutdown.
“In the lead-up to a House vote on a measure to extend federal funding for 45 days, an audible alarm went off in the Cannon House office building that prompted the Capitol Police to evacuate staff,” reports Axios.
“Rep Jamaal Bowman pulled a fire alarm in Cannon this morning,” House Administration Committee Chair Bryan Steil (R-Wisc.) said in a statement. “An investigation into why it was pulled is underway.”
A spokeswoman for Bowman told Axios that the congressman “did not realize he would trigger a building alarm as he was rushing to make an urgent vote” and that he “regrets any confusion.”
It doesn’t seem that Republicans are buying that story. Reps. Harriet Hageman (R-Wyo.) and Lisa McClain (R-Mich.) are both drafting resolutions to censure Bowman, and Rep. Nicole Malliotakis (R-N.Y.), has already drafted a resolution to expel Bowman from the House.
Censure appears more likely, as it only requires a simple majority, while expulsion requires a two-thirds vote, meaning that a significant number of Democrats would have to join with Republicans to expel a member of their party. And that’s not likely to happen. According to the report, there is footage of Bowman pulling the alarm, and at least one Democrat is all but denying that it is, in fact, Bowman.
“It appears from the footage [of the incident] to be him,” Rep. Joe Morelle (D-N.Y.) said, “but I haven’t had a chance to talk to him.”
Of course, Bowman’s office has already admitted he’s responsible for pulling the fire alarm, so there isn’t a question about the culprit’s identity.
“If it’s true, I’d like to understand, obviously, what his explanation is,” Morelle added. “A member of Congress should certainly never put people in jeopardy and this puts people in the middle of health and safety issues.”
According to sources who spoke with Fox News Digital, the alarm was pulled right shortly after House Republicans made the announcement they’d be expediting a stopgap spending bill, commonly referred to as a continuing resolution (CR) to extend government funding for 45 days, for consideration on the House floor on Saturday. According to the report, the announcement caught Democrats off-guard, and they complained that they weren’t given enough time to read the bill.
Based on a publicly released photo of the incident, it is clear that this was not an accidental pulling of the fire alarm but instead a ridiculous effort to delay the vote averting a shutdown.
We will continue to report on this story as it develops. The stopgap bill was passed Saturday afternoon.
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