Democratic consultant Jamaal Bowman pulled a fireplace alarm on Saturday in a Capitol workplace constructing earlier than a Home vote on a stopgap measure to keep away from a authorities shutdown.
The alarm prompted the Cannon Home workplace constructing to be evacuated and triggered outcry from Republicans together with the Home speaker, Kevin McCarthy, who in contrast the New York congressman’s actions with these of the January 6 rioters.
“I used to be actually appalled watching Democrats’ actions at this time, to delay it, to get a shutdown,” mentioned McCarthy amid Democrats’ complaints that they didn’t have adequate time to assessment the invoice Republicans launched last-minute in an try and keep away from a authorities shutdown.
“That’s a brand new low,” he mentioned, including, “We watched how individuals have been handled in the event that they’ve achieved one thing unsuitable on this Capitol. It might be attention-grabbing to see how he’s handled and what he was making an attempt to impede when it got here to the American public.”
Brian Steil, a Republican Wisconsin consultant and chair of the Home administration committee, introduced that an investigation into the incident is underway.
Georgia’s Republican consultant Marjorie Taylor Greene mentioned she is asking on the justice division to prosecute Bowman “utilizing the identical regulation they used to prosecute J6 defendants for interfering with an official continuing”.
In the meantime, the Republican consultant Nicole Malliotakis of New York mentioned that she is drafting a decision to expel Bowman, tweeting, “That is america Congress, not a New York Metropolis highschool. This motion warrants expulsion & I’m introducing a decision to just do that.”
Malliotakis’s fellow Republican consultant Elise Stefanik echoed comparable sentiments, tweeting, “A Democrat member of Congress simply dedicated a felony by pulling the fireplace alarm to attempt to delay and cease a Congressional vote to fund the federal government.”
In DC, falsely pulling a fireplace alarm is thought-about a misdemeanor.
In a assertion to The Hill, a spokesperson for Bowman mentioned, “Congressman Bowman didn’t understand he would set off a constructing alarm as he was dashing to make an pressing vote,” including, “The congressman regrets any confusion.”
Talking to reporters, Bowman mentioned, “I assumed the alarm would open the door.”
It stays unclear whether or not Bowman shall be prosecuted.
The 45-day funding decision, which Bowman and a majority of Democrats in the end voted in favor of, handed with a 335-91 vote within the Home. The invoice is now with the Democrat-majority Senate, and lawmakers have till midnight on Sunday to move it and ship it to president Joe Biden to signal into regulation earlier than a authorities shutdown.