Headline RoundupDecember 7th, 2023

House Votes to Censure Rep. Bowman Over Fire Alarm Incident

Summary from the AllSides News Team

The House of Representatives voted to censure Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-NY) over an incident in September where Bowman falsely pulled a fire alarm.

For Context: Bowman’s critics accused him of intentionally pulling the fire alarm to delay a vote on a spending bill. Bowman denied this accusation, claiming the incident was an accident and that he thought the alarm would open a door. In late October, Bowman pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor for the incident, agreeing to pay a fine and write an apology to Capitol police.

Details: The vote passed 214-191. Three Democrats voted in favor of the censure and four voted “present.” All Republicans voted in favor, apart from one “present” vote. This is the 27th censure passed by the House in its history. It is the third this year, following the censures of Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) and Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI).

Key Quotes: Rep. Lisa McClain (R-MI), who introduced the censure resolution, stated, “It is reprehensible that a Member of Congress would go to such lengths to prevent House Republicans from bringing forth a vote to keep the government operating and Americans receiving their paychecks.” Bowman denied this claim, stating, “The legal process on this matter has played out. In no way did I obstruct official proceedings. The vote took place.”

How the Media Covered It: Outlets across the spectrum covered the censure. Fox News (Right bias) called Bowman’s fire alarm pull a “stunt,” while left- and center-rated outlets used more neutral language to describe it. 

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