OAN’s Abril Elfi
11:48 AM – Sunday, October 1, 2023
Democrat Representative Jamaal Bowman pulled the fire alarm at the Capitol office right before a house vote to stop the government shutdown.
On Saturday, Bowman (D-N.Y.) set off a fire alarm at the Cannon House Office Building in the morning, just before the House was set to vote on a government funding package, which the New York Democrat claimed was “an accident.”
House Administration Committee Chairman Bryan Steil (R-Wis.) first revealed what happened in a statement, where he said that the reason for the pull was still unclear.
“We know Jamaal Bowman pulled the fire alarm. Why he did that, it is pretty unclear. His initial explanation, that it was an accident, doesn’t seem to really pass muster,” Steil said.
Steil also stated that if Bowman pulled the alarm to avert the House voting procedure, then it would be “a serious violation of the law.”
According to the progressive New York representative, the fire alarm pulling was an “accident” as he claims that he believed the alarm was a handle used to “open the door.”
“I was trying to get to a door. I thought the alarm would open the door, and I pulled the fire alarm to open the door by accident,” he added. “I was just trying to get to my vote and the door that’s usually open wasn’t open, it was closed.”
Bowman stated that he discussed the matter with House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) shortly after the temporary funding legislation cleared the House on Saturday, adding that Jeffries’ tone was “supportive” and “he understood that was a mistake.”
GOP House Speaker Kevin McCarthy asserted that the House Ethics Committee should look into the incident.
“I think ethics should look at this, but this is serious,” McCarthy said. “This should not go without punishment, This is an embarrassment. You are elected to be a member of Congress. You pulled a fire alarm, in a [matter] of hours before the government was shut down, trying to dictate that the government would shut down?”
Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) spoke with the press on Sunday, maintaining that Bowman simply acted “in a moment of panic.”
“I think there’s something to be said that the government’s about to shut down, there’s a vote clock that’s going down, the exits that are normally open in that building were suddenly closed…” Ocasio-Cortez said.
AOC also claimed that Bowman is “fully participating” with the House administration and United States Capitol Police on what she referred to as “a misunderstanding.”
After defending her fellow New York Democrat, Ocasio-Cortez then launched an attack on Republicans, accusing them of hypocrisy for wanting to expel Bowman while allegedly “protecting” Representative George Santos (R-N.Y.) who is facing serious allegations of money laundering and lying to Congress in an earlier financial disclosure prosecution.
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