Headline RoundupOctober 2nd, 2023

Did Rep. Jamaal Bowman Pull a Fire Alarm to Delay a Vote?

Summary from the AllSides News Team

Shortly before the House of Representatives was set to vote Saturday on a bill to fund the federal government past the weekend, Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-NY) pulled a fire alarm inside the Capitol building, leading the building to evacuate and delaying the vote.

McCarthy’s Criticism: House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) accused Bowman of intentionally delaying the vote, telling reporters he was “appalled watching Democrats’ actions today, to delay it, to get a shutdown.” McCarthy compared Bowman’s actions to those of Capitol rioters on January 6 and called for the House Ethics Committee to investigate the incident, stating, “We watched how people have been treated if they've done something wrong in this Capitol. It will be interesting to see how he was treated, on what he was trying to obstruct when it came to the American public.”

Bowman’s Response: Later on Saturday, Bowman released a statement denying the incident was an intentional delay. Bowman stated, “as I was rushing to make a vote, I came to a door that is usually open for votes but today would not open. I am embarrassed to admit that I activated the fire alarm, mistakenly thinking it would open the door.” Bowman added, “I want to be very clear, this was not me, in any way, trying to delay any vote. It was the exact opposite — I was trying urgently to get to a vote, which I ultimately did and joined my colleagues in a bipartisan effort to keep our government open.”

Correction: A previous version of this article mistakenly stated Bowen pulled a "firearm," not a "fire alarm."

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