House Democrat under investigation for pulling Capitol Hill alarm
Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-N.Y.) is facing an investigation and a Republican-led expulsion effort after he pulled a fire alarm in a House office building while the House scrambled to head off a government shutdown on Saturday.
Driving the news: 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."
The backdrop: In the lead-up to a House vote on a measure to extend federal funding for 45 days, an audible alarm went off in the Cannon House office building that prompted the Capitol Police to evacuate staff.
- House Administration Committee Chair Bryan Steil (R-Wisc.) said in a statement: "Rep Jamaal Bowman pulled a fire alarm in Cannon this morning. An investigation into why it was pulled is underway."
- “An investigation into what happened and why continues,” Capitol Police spokesperson Paul Starks.
What we're hearing: Rep. Nicole Malliotakis (R-N.Y.), a fellow New Yorker, has drafted a resolution to expel Bowman from Congress, her office told Axios.
- That resolution could face an uphill battle – it would require a two-thirds vote, meaning many Democrats would have to cross the aisle to vote to expel one of their own.
- But Reps. Harriet Hageman (R-Wyo.) and Lisa McClain (R-Mich.) are both working on measures to censure Bowman, their offices told Axios. Such a vote would need only a simple majority.
- House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said at a press conference he thinks the House Ethics Committee should investigate Bowman.
What they're saying: Rep. Joe Morelle (D-N.Y.) told Axios that "it appears from the footage [of the incident] to be him ... I'd like to understand, obviously, what his explanation is."
- "A member of Congress should certainly never put people in jeopardy and this puts people in the middle of health and safety issues," Morelle added.
- McCarthy said he is "going to have a discussion" about it with House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.).
Axios' Juliegrace Brufke contributed to this story.