Should Rep. Jamaal Bowman be expelled from Congress?

AP Photo/Mariam Zuhaib

As the House of Representatives worked to avoid a government shutdown, one member decided to create a distraction so that a vote was not taken. That is an allegation against Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-NY) that appears to be true.

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There is video evidence of Bowman, a member of The Squad, pulling a fire alarm in the House. It happened in the Capitol’s Cannon building. His chief of staff confirmed he pulled the fire alarm.

He thought the alarm would open the door.

Bowman spokesperson Emma Simon told Axios in a statement that the congressman “did not realize he would trigger a building alarm as he was rushing to make an urgent vote.”

Bowman later told reporters he “thought the alarm would open the door” because “the door that’s usually open wasn’t open.”

Bowman got caught trying to obstruct Congressional business and now he’s making up a story. Here’s the thing – Bowman started a charter school in the Bronx. He is the founder and former principal of the Cornerstone Academy for Social Action. He knows what a fire alarm looks like and how they are used. He knows it is not a door opener. Bowman assumes everyone is dumb enough to take his explanation and let it drop.

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It’s kind of insurrectiony, isn’t it? Obstructing the business of Congress. He did so before what is described as a high-stakes House vote occurred on a stopgap measure to temporarily keep the federal government funded, avoiding a shutdown. Democrats wanted the shutdown in order to blame Republicans for it and complained they needed time to read the 70-page resolution. Democratic Whip Katherine Clark wanted to make a motion for the House to adjourn for the day to give members time to read it. Democrats were doing all they could to stop the proceedings.

There was a lot of drama in the House before a final vote was called. The stop-gap measure passed and the government has an additional 45 days of funding. These continuing resolutions are no way to run a government but they have been used for years.

Republicans pounced, if you will. Rightly so. Frankly, this man should be ejected from Congress. This irrational judgment call of his to pull a fire alarm, thus endangering lives and triggering first responders unnecessarily is not acceptable. It is against the law to pull a false alarm – it is a misdemeanor. Republican leadership needs to hold Bowman accountable.

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Speaker McCarthy is having the false alarm investigated.

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene called for the Department of Justice to prosecute Bowman using the “same law they used to prosecute [January 6] defendants for interfering with an official proceeding.” Rep. Nicole Malliotakis (R-NY) called for his expulsion from the House. Republican Representatives Harriet Hageman (R-WY) and Lisa McClain (R-MI) are drafting resolutions to censure Bowman.

The expulsion will be hard to pass if McCarthy agrees to it. That would require a two-thirds vote. That would mean that Democrats would have to cross the aisle to vote to expel one of their own. They don’t have the spine to eject a member of The Squad. A censure resolution would be much easier to pass. It only needs a simple majority.

Bowman thrives on creating drama. He is known for instigating shouting matches with Republicans, usually making sure the press has cameras on him as he does so. He is a second-term back-bencher who uses screaming matches with Republicans like Marjorie Taylor Greene to get publicity for himself, as he did in May.

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He doesn’t seem to be a serious representative. In my opinion, with his history of poor behavior, he pulled that fire alarm intentionally knowing exactly what it was. Principals in schools usually conduct fire drills, right? Fire alarms are usually clearly marked as such. He knew what he was doing. He must be held accountable.

Here is something I didn’t think I’d be saying – Rep. George Santos speaks for us all here:

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