Democratic U.S. Rep. Jamaal Bowman's pulling a fire alarm in a U.S. Capitol office building as Congress scrambled to pass stopgap funding to avert a federal government shutdown Saturday was more than an innocent mistake, said Wyoming Republican Rep. Harriet Hageman. It was a deliberate stunt that deserves swift action by censuring and booting Bowman from the House.
One of the biggest sideshows to the weekend’s spending bill negotiations was Bowman's fire alarm pull that happened before a midnight deadline to avert a shutdown.
Many members of congress have accused Bowman of pulling the alarm to delay a vote on the bill. At the time of the evacuation, House Democrats were working to delay voting and said they needed more time to review it. Video surveillance shows Bowman pulling the alarm.
Hageman said she found efforts to delay the vote “sad” and that Bowman, a former school principal, should be punished. Falsely pulling a fire alarm is a felony charge carrying up to 30 years in prison.
Bowman claimed that he pulled the alarm by mistake and was rushing to vote and trying to get through a door that is usually open.
Hageman doesn’t buy his explanation and signed a resolution to censure Bowman and expel him from Congress.
“Unless Rep. Bowman saw smoke or flames in the Cannon Office Building, pulling a fire alarm that triggered the evacuation of the entire building was an indefensible act,” Hageman told Cowboy State Daily. “I think we can all agree that a big red ‘fire alarm’ handle doesn’t open locked doors.”
Gaetz And McCarthy
On Monday, Florida Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz threatened to use a procedural tool called a motion to vacate to try and strip Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-California, of his position sometime this week because of the way he handled the spending bill negotiations.
Without the support of the more conservative members of the House like Hageman, McCarthy had to rely on help from Democrats to get the spending bill passed.
“It is becoming increasingly clear who the speaker of the House already works for and it’s not the Republican Conference,” Gaetz said in his speech Monday.
Hageman, who voted against the measure, said she doesn’t support Gaetz’s motion to vacate. She said the House will have 45 days to pass eight appropriations bills, the ongoing Biden impeachment inquiry, along with other bills to secure the border, address “wokeness” in the federal government and American energy independence.
“These items are my priority,and they should be the priority of every Republican in Congress,” Hageman said. “Infighting over removing the speaker and then over who becomes the next speaker only emboldens the Democrats’ liberal agenda and makes conservative goals harder to achieve.”
Leo Wolfson can be reached at Leo@CowboyStateDaily.com.