The votes are in, and Democratic Rep. Jamaal Bowman, N.Y., has been censured by the House months after he pulled the fire alarm to obstruct Congress.
Bowman is now the third Democrat to be censured by the GOP-led House this year. This incident happened last year when Bowman triggered a fire alarm in the building where the chamber was in session amid voting on a funding bill, according to AP News.
The Washington Examiner reported that Bowman claimed he pulled the fire alarm on Sept. 30 because he was confused when a door in the building wouldn’t open, and he was in a rush to get the voting session.
However, not many bought his claim. Rep. Lisa McClain, R-Mich., who introduced the resolution to censure him, didn’t believe his reason. The Washington Examiner shared what McClain said, “This is a felony, plain and simple. It’s not difficult to understand. Capitol Police was forced to waste resources investigating rather than doing their job to keep the Capitol safe.”
After the vote, Speaker of the House Mike Johnson, R-La., instructed Bowman to stand in front of the House while he read aloud the charges against him in a form of public rebuke.
While censure is very rarely used, Bowman got off lightly as this punishment is not as severe as expulsion. In addition to his latest punishment, Bowman had previously been criminally charged, served three months probation, written a letter of apology to the Capitol police, and paid a $1,000 fine.
CNN reported that the censure vote was approved by 214 to 191, and of that number, only three Democrats had voted in favor of censuring Bowman.
McClain celebrated the censure and the GOP’s efforts to bring accountability. Even though it is just a censure, this is a warning that no one is above the law, even congressmen. On X, McClain wrote, “Actions have consequences,” which Bowman learned the hard way.