Jamaal Bowman Slams GOP Members After House Votes to Censure Him for Triggering Fire Alarm In Capitol Hill Office Building

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Republicans in the House of Representatives have led the vote to censure Democratic Rep. Jamaal Bowman of New York for triggering a fire alarm in September in a U.S. Capitol office building.

The Bronx politician pleaded guilty to one local criminal charge of causing a false alarm for the incident. He says he was rushing to cast his vote to stop the government from shutting down when he pulled the alarm, hoping to get out of a door in the federal building, and has now received a political smack on the wrist for the rash act.

“Representative Bowman forced the evacuation of the Cannon House Office Building and disrupted the work of the Congress as a vote was underway on the floor of the House,” said the resolution introduced by GOP Conference Secretary Lisa McClain of Michigan, according to Axios.

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U.S. Rep. Jamaal Bowman, D-NY (Photo: Twitter/Jamaal Bowman)

McClain took to social media and wrote in part, “Nobody is above the law, Congressmen included.”

Censure is a punitive measure just short of expulsion from the House, underscoring the gravity of the incident. The vote on Thursday, Dec. 7, was 214-191 in favor of the discipline of the elected official.

Only a handful of Democrats supported the Republican-led rebuke, including Reps. Jahana Hayes of Connecticut, New Hampshire’s Chris Pappas, and Marie Gluesenkamp Pérez of Washington.

The party of the president deemed the resolution malicious and lacking integrity, characterizing it as a process continually weaponized by the GOP.

“All they do is vacate the chair, expulsions, censures, reprimands, impeachments. There is no positive agenda for America,” said Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.).

Since 1789, Congress has censured 28 elected officials, and in 2023, three progressive Democrats — Bowman, Rashida Tlaib, and Adam Schiff — were all subjected to censure.

In November 2023, Tlaib faced censure for supporting Palestine and criticizing Israel during the Israeli-Hamas conflict. In June 2023, Schiff was censured for allegedly misleading the public during the Russia-Trump campaign investigation as House Intelligence Committee chairman, a probe that led to the first impeachment of the 45th president.

On Wednesday, Dec. 6, Bowman defended himself during the floor debate regarding his action, which he contends was not meant to be a distraction.

“It’s painfully obvious to myself, my colleagues, and the American people that the Republican Party is deeply unserious and unable to legislate,” Bowman said, according to The Associated Press.

After the resolution passed, Speaker Mike Johnson told Bowman to abide by the resolution and appear in the well of the House chamber to officially announce the censure to the public.

On Thursday evening, Bowman doubled down on his attack on GOP members, telling CNN’s Abby Phillip on “NewsNight.” Thursday evening that the censure is “another example of how the Republican Party is not serious about governing.”

“They have no ideas, they have no policies, they can’t inspire the American people, so they focused on censuring me even though after the fire alarm incident, I took full responsibility right away,” said Bowman.”

He also maintained that he did not pull the fire alarm to delay a House vote, which many Republicans have alleged.

What was intended to spotlight the rebuke, turned into a photograph of support. A group of Democratic lawmakers surrounded Bowman during the announcement, defiantly creating an action that expressed their disapproval of the censure.