Sun. Dec 10th, 2023
Rep. Jamaal Bowman set off a fire alarm in a House office amid a vote on a funding bill

WASHINGTON (AP) — Democratic Rep. Jamaal Bowman admitted setting off a hearth alarm Saturday in an workplace constructing on the U.S. Capitol as lawmakers scrambled. Pass a bill to finance the government Earlier than the midnight closing deadline.

A hearth alarm went off round midday within the Cannon Home workplace constructing, forcing the evacuation of all the constructing at a time when the Home of Representatives was in session and employees had been working within the constructing.

The GOP-controlled Home Administration Committee, which oversees points associated to the Capitol advanced, posted a photograph of somebody pulling the hearth alarm and who seems to be Bowman. The committee printed the picture on the X web site, previously often called Twitter, and mentioned that the incident was beneath investigation.

A spokesman for the New York lawmaker mentioned in an announcement to The Related Press that the lawmaker didn’t intend to set off a building-wide alarm as he rushed to achieve the Senate chamber.

The assertion continued: “The Congressman regrets any confusion.” Later, Bowman instructed reporters that he was making an attempt to get via a door that was normally open, but it surely was closed as a result of weekend.

“I assumed it could assist me open the door,” he mentioned about pulling the set off, denying that this was an try and impede something.

On the time of the eviction, Home Democrats had been working to delay a vote on a 45-day funding invoice to maintain federal businesses open. They mentioned they wanted time to evaluate the 71-page invoice that Republicans abruptly launched to keep away from a shutdown.

The funding bundle was in the end accredited by a vote of 335 to 91 on Saturday afternoon, with most Republicans and almost all Democrats — together with Bowman — supporting the invoice.

After the vote, Republicans, together with Home Speaker Kevin McCarthy, criticized Bowman over the hearth alarm. Some lawmakers even floated the concept of ​​drafting a movement to expel or censure him from the Home of Representatives.

“This could not go unpunished,” McCarthy instructed reporters. “This is a humiliation.”

He added that he plans to talk with Democratic Chief Hakeem Jeffries of New York to search out out a attainable response.

However Jefferies met with Bowman shortly after the vote and Bowman mentioned his New York colleague was “supportive.”

“He understood it was a mistake and that is all it was,” he mentioned. Bowman added that the response from McCarthy and different Republicans was insincere.

“(McCarthy) is making an attempt to weaponize my coming mistake, dashing right into a vote as one thing outrageous when it wasn’t,” he mentioned.

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