Democrat Rep. Jamaal Bowman suspected of pulling fire alarm to delay vote on ‘clean’ stopgap bill

Rep. Jamaal Bowman, a member of Congress’ far-left Squad, on Saturday allegedly pulled a fire alarm in a House office building to buy fellow Democrats more time to review the GOP’s new stopgap spending bill.

An investigation is now open into why the fire alarm was pulled, according to a post on X from House Administration Committee Chair Bryan Steil, Wisconsin Republican.

Under D.C. law, people convicted of knowingly or wilfully giving a false alarm of fire within the city can be hit with a misdemeanor fine of up to $100 and imprisonment of up to six months.

The U.S. Capitol Police confirmed to The Washington Times that the agency has opened an investigation into “what happened and why” after a second-floor fire alarm in the Cannon House Office Building was pulled, which caused an evacuation to ensue while police checked the building for a threat. 

Democrats were caught off guard by House Speaker McCarthy’s new 45-day stopgap bill, which includes $16 billion in disaster aid and continues funding the government at the current fiscal year’s levels. The bill was teed up for a floor vote when Democrats began scrambling for more time to decide what to do.

The speaker will need Democratic votes to pass the bill after his previous, hyper-conservative measure failed Friday, but Democrats charged that they needed more time to review the bill.  

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy said that he would speak with House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries about the incident and what should happen next to the lawmaker. 

“This should not go without punishment,” Mr. McCarthy said. “This is embarrassing. You’re elected to be a member of Congress, you pull a fire alarm in the minutes, hours before the government being shut down, trying to dictate the government would shut down.”

A spokesperson for Mr. Bowman said on X, formerly Twitter, that he “did not realize he would trigger a building alarm” when he pulled the alarm, and that Mr. Bowman “regrets any confusion.” 

Meanwhile, House Republicans have already drafted a resolution calling for Mr. Bowman’s expulsion. Rep. Nicole Malliotakis, New York Republican, has introduced a measure to kick the lawmaker out of Congress. 

The fire alarm incident happened in the frantic moments leading up to a floor vote for Mr. McCarthy’s clean stopgap bill. 

Democrats were caught off guard by Mr. McCarthy’s new 45-day stopgap bill, which includes $16 billion in disaster aid and continues funding the government at the current fiscal year’s levels. 

Democratic lawmakers had not gotten a chance to read the 71-page bill and were scrambling to buy time to read the package before making a decision, going so far as to request for the House to adjourn and using an arcane rule to allow for a nearly indefinite floor speech from Mr. Jeffries, New York Democrat.

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