U.S. Congressman Jamaal Bowman, a Democrat from New York, is facing an investigation after reportedly pulling a fire alarm in a House office building on Saturday. This incident occurred as the chamber was rushing to secure a bipartisan vote on a Republican stopgap spending bill to prevent a midnight government shutdown.
The incident, which was captured on video and confirmed by multiple witnesses, took place in the Cannon Building, according to reports from various outlets including the New York Post.
A spokesperson for the GOP-controlled Administration Committee informed the New York Post that an investigation is underway to determine why the fire alarm was pulled.
Bowman's spokeswoman, Emma Simon, explained to the Post that Congressman Bowman had made a mistake and was not aware that his actions would trigger a building alarm during his rush to participate in an urgent vote.
However, New York Republican Rep. Nick Langworthy expressed strong criticism of Bowman's actions. He accused the congressman of deliberately stalling and obstructing efforts to keep the federal government open, calling for a criminal investigation into the matter.
The House version of the spending bill, which provides funding at 2023 levels for an additional 45 days, passed with a vote of 335-91 before moving to the Senate for a Saturday evening vote.
It is important to note that creating a false fire alarm is considered a misdemeanor in the District of Columbia, carrying a possible punishment of up to six months in jail.
Jamaal Bowman himself had previously emphasized the importance of upholding the law. In a tweet regarding former president Donald Trump, he stated, "No one in this country is above the law." This comment came in conjunction with his support for various indictments against the former leader, who is seeking reelection in 2024.
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy has expressed his intention to discuss the Bowman situation with Democratic leader Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, as reported by the New York Post.