In order to prevent a government shutdown, Democratic Rep. Jamaal Bowman of New York activated the fire alarm in a Capitol office building on Saturday, according to his office.
Bowman claimed in a statement that he was “rushing to make” the vote and that he “came to a door that is usually open for votes but today would not open.”
He claimed that he was “embarrassed to admit that” he “activated the fire alarm, mistakenly thinking it would open the door.”
He continued by stating that he wasn’t “attempt[ing] to delay any vote in any way.” The exact reverse was true; I was rushing to cast my ballot, which I did.
He noted that after the incident, he spoke with the Capitol Police as well as the Sergeant at Arms.
The Cannon office building was evacuated at 12:05 p.m. Eastern time due to the fire alarm, according to a previous statement from the U.S. Capitol Police. When Capitol police officers determined there was no threat, the building was reopened after being evacuated while they checked it.
That statement stated that “an investigation into what occurred and why continues.”
A dramatic last-minute decision by the House on Saturday will prevent a government shutdown that had appeared all but certain only hours earlier. The House voted 335-91 in favor of a bipartisan stopgap spending plan to finance the government for 45 days. Approximately three hours before the Saturday at midnight deadline to avert a shutdown, the bill was later passed by an 88-9 margin in the Senate.
The inquiry into Bowman pulling the fire alarm is already begun, according to the GOP-led House Administration Committee, which announced this on Saturday.
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy described the incident as “serious,” saying he would be communicating with Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries about it and that he would ask the House Ethics Committee to look into it.
This is embarrassing, said McCarthy. “You were chosen to serve in Congress. You activated a fire alarm only moments before the government was about to shut down? Trying to impose a shutdown on the government? What might possibly be going through that person’s mind? However, we shall discover the necessary capability to handle this.
Jeffries admitted to the media that he hadn’t yet watched the incident’s tape.
Keshia Butts provided support for this article.