Jamaal Bowman Pulls Fire Alarm Before House Vote on Stopgap Spending Bill


Representative Jamaal Bowman, Democrat of New York, pulled a fire alarm in the House Cannon office building on Saturday as his party was trying to delay a vote on a stopgap spending bill, prompting an evacuation of the building and investigations by the Capitol Police and the House Administration Committee.

The committee began an inquiry on why the alarm was triggered, its chairman, Representative Bryan Steil, Republican of Wisconsin, said in a statement. The Capitol Police said the building was briefly evacuated. “An investigation into what happened and why continues,” a police spokesman, Paul Starks, said.

The alarm was triggered at the same time that House Democrats at the Capitol were stalling a vote on a spending measure to keep the government operating for another 45 days. Speaker Kevin McCarthy had unveiled the bill just minutes earlier, and Democrats were scrambling to read the bill and determine whether to support it. Later in the day, the bill passed 335 to 91, with more Democrats voting for it than Republicans.

Mr. Bowman’s chief of staff, Sarah Iddrissu, confirmed in a statement on X, that the congressman, who represents the north Bronx and parts of Westchester County, had pulled the alarm, though she did not say why or whether it was intentional. “Congressman Bowman did not realize he would trigger a building alarm as he was rushing to make an urgent vote,” Ms. Iddrissu wrote. “The Congressman regrets any confusion.” She declined a request to clarify the statement.

Still, Republicans were quick to link the alarm to the vote on the spending bill. At a news conference after the spending measure passed, Mr. McCarthy criticized Mr. Bowman, suggesting he set off the alarm in an attempt to obstruct proceedings. “When we found that an individual elected to Congress would pull a fire alarm, that’s a new low,” he said.

Representative Nicole Malliotakis, Republican of New York, has drafted a motion to expel Mr. Bowman from the House, her office said.

“This is the United States Congress, not a New York City high school,” Ms. Malliotakis wrote on X. “To pull the fire alarm to disrupt proceedings when we are trying to draft legislation to AVERT A SHUTDOWN is pathetic.”


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