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Wednesday, February 21, 2024

‘Squad’ Rep. Blasts House for Censuring Him over Fire-Alarm Incident

'Their efforts to target me are a testament to the importance of my voice in pushing back against their disingenuous rhetoric and harmful policies...'

(Headline USA“Squad” Rep. Jamaal Bowman, D-N.Y., blasted House Republicans as “unserious and unproductive” this week after they voted to censure him for illegally pulling a U.S. Capitol fire alarm.

Bowman pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor earlier this year after he pulled the alarm—despite there being no immediate threat of a fire—in the middle of a contentious House floor vote.

He denied doing it on purpose to give his colleagues more time for negotiation, insisting that he didn’t know what the fire alarm did. However, surveillance video showed that he removed two signs from the nearby exit warning not to pull the alarm except in case of emergency. 

“I was rushing to make a vote, I was trying to get through a door. I thought the alarm would open the door,” he said at the time.

The censure resolution, introduced by Rep. Lisa McLain, R-Mich., passed on a 214-191 vote, with just three Democrats voting to censure their colleague. Four other Democrats voted “present,” and 24 members did not vote at all.

In a statement on Thursday, Bowman said he had “expressed deep regret, apologized for my mistake, and taken accountability for my actions,” but continued to refuse to accept direct culpability for them.

Instead, he played the victim, accusing Republicans of “targeting” him.

“Their efforts to target me are a testament to the importance of my voice in pushing back against their disingenuous rhetoric and harmful policies,” he claimed.

Fellow “Squad” Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., who was also censured by the House last month for making anti-Semitic comments, agreed that the censure was meant to “silence” Bowman with a bizarre race-baiting attack that seemed to have little to do with the matter at hand.

“They are obsessed with attacking black and brown members of Congress, but do nothing to help our families thrive,” she claimed. “They need to get a grip.”

House Democrats tried to prevent the censure resolution from advancing on Wednesday, arguing Bowman had already been held accountable by the legal system. But Republicans argued Bowman’s actions also directly affected congressional proceedings and thus deserved a congressional reprimand.

“I think what he did was wrong. I don’t think it was an accident. It was absolutely done to disrupt a proceeding,” said Rep. Mike Lawler, R-N.Y.

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