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House censures Rep. Jamaal Bowman for falsely pulling fire alarm

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(NEW YORK) — The House voted Thursday to censure Democrat Rep. Jamaal Bowman of New York for falsely pulling a fire alarm in a House office building in September.

The final vote was 214-191 with five members voting present. Three Democrats voted with Republicans to censure Bowman.

After the vote, Bowman stood in the well of the House surrounded by a large group of Democrats.

The New York congressman was caught on video pulling the fire alarm in the Cannon House Office Building on Sept. 30 — the day the House voted on funding the government. He later pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge for falsely triggering the alarm.

Thursday vote happened after a Democratic motion to table — or kill — the censure resolution failed by a vote of 201-216 Wednesday evening.

Rep. Lisa McClain, R-Mich., introduced the censure resolution as privileged on Tuesday — giving the House two legislative days to vote on it.

Bowman is the fifth House member censured in the 21st century, joining Reps. Charles Rangel, Paul Gosar, Adam Schiff and — most recently — Rashida Tlaib. Bowman would become the 27th House member censured in U.S. history, according to the Office of the House Historian.

Historically, censuring a House member is rare, but has been more recently used as a political tool.

During fiery House floor debate on the censure resolution Wednesday evening, House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries defended Rep. Jamaal Bowman and called the resolution “fraudulent and fictitious.”

“The behavior of the extreme MAGA Republicans – censuring member after member after member has brought disgrace to the institution. To the House of Representatives,” Jeffries said.

Jeffries said the House is “wasting time talking about fire alarms.”

Jeffries even dared House Republicans to censure him.

“Going after Democrats repeatedly week after week after week, because you have nothing better to do — then I volunteer. Censure me next. Censure me next. That’s how worthless your censure effort is. It has no credibility, no integrity, no legitimacy. Censure me next. And I’ll take that censure and I’ll wear it — next week, next month, next year — like a badge of honor,” Jeffries said.

 

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