House Republicans Censure Jamaal Bowman Over Fire Alarm – On Thursday, Republican members of the US House officially censured New York Democrat Jamaal Bowman for triggering a fire alarm in a congressional office building. On Wednesday, a resolution garnered a 216-201 vote, with Democrat Susan Wild of Pennsylvania, a House ethics committee member, voting present. The following day, the resolution was adopted with a 214-191 vote, including five present votes.
Notably, Democrats Jahana Hayes, Marie Gluesenkamp Perez, and Chris Pappas voted in favor. Surveillance footage captured Bowman pulling the alarm on September 30, coinciding with an imminent vote to avert a government shutdown. While he asserted it was accidental, critics argued he aimed to stall the vote. Bowman admitted guilt to a misdemeanor under Washington DC law, agreeing to a maximum $1,000 fine.
As a prominent progressive in Congress, he has frequently drawn the ire of rightwing critics. In the past week, George Santos, a New York Republican known for his falsehoods and facing fraud allegations, made a final attempt to expel Bowman as he departed the building. Santos, the sixth House member ever expelled, introduced the motion.
The resolution for censuring Bowman, however, was put forth by Lisa McClain, a Republican from Michigan. In a statement, McClain said: “While the House was working tirelessly to avert a government shutdown, Representative Bowman was working nefariously to prevent a vote.” “It is reprehensible that a member of Congress would go to such lengths to prevent House Republicans from bringing forth a vote to keep the government operating and Americans receiving their paychecks.”
“Especially from a former schoolteacher, who without a doubt understands the function and severity of pulling a fire alarm.” McClain’s resolution said Bowman should “forthwith present himself in the well of the House of Representatives for the pronouncement of censure, [to] be censured with the public reading of this resolution by the speaker”.
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Bowman said: “I immediately took responsibility and accountability for my actions and pled guilty.” “Immediately. Republicans are here trying to rehash an already litigated matter.” Jim McGovern, a Massachusetts Democrat, called the resolution “profoundly stupid” and added: “Under Republican control, this chamber has become a place where trivial issues get debated passionately, and important ones not at all.”