On Saturday, a motion to adjourn was abruptly interrupted at the Cannon House Office Building after Congressman Jamaal “The Fire Alarm Guy” Bowman pulled a fire alarm, causing chaos and confusion among lawmakers and staff. As the alarm blared and lights flashed, videos of the incident quickly spread on social media, showing Bowman purposefully pulling the alarm and then quickly exiting the building.
In the aftermath, multiple reports indicate that Bowman claims it was all a mistake, saying he thought pulling the alarm would open the door. However, this defense has been met with skepticism and outrage from his colleagues, with Congresswoman Nicole Malliotakis, a Republican from New York, leading the charge. Malliotakis has announced her intention to draft a resolution to have Bowman expelled from the House of Representatives for his actions.
Bowman tells reporters “I thought the alarm would open the door.”
— Juliegrace Brufke (@juliegraceb) September 30, 2023
“This is the United States Congress, not a New York City high school,” Malliotakis declared in a tweet. “This action warrants expulsion and I am introducing a resolution to do just that.”
Malliotakis is not alone in her condemnation of Bowman's behavior. Disgruntled lawmakers and staff, frustrated with the interruption of important business, echoed her sentiment and called for serious consequences for Bowman's actions. The backlash against Bowman, who is a former middle school principal, also raises questions about his judgment and intelligence.
Newsy: Rep. Malliotakis (R-NY) is drafting a resolution to have Rep. Bowman expelled, her spox Natalie Baldassarre tells me.
Rep. Lisa McClain is also drafting a resolution to censure him, her office confirms.
Bowman’s office said alarm incident bc “confusion”/rushing to vote https://t.co/2CTjvkzx25
— Olivia Beavers (@Olivia_Beavers) September 30, 2023
The premeditated act of pulling a fire alarm not only caused a disturbance, but it also poses a serious safety concern. Emergency responders were quickly dispatched to the building, costing valuable resources and potentially diverting them from actual emergencies. Furthermore, Bowman's actions may have violated multiple laws, including public disturbance and misuse of emergency services.
Responding to these concerns, Bowman's defense that he unintentionally triggered the alarm due to a lack of understanding has been met with skepticism. As commentator Mary Katherine Ham pointed out, the footage clearly shows Bowman pulling the alarm with intent and his explanation of not knowing the consequences seems highly dubious.
In the face of mounting pressure, the Congressman has yet to issue a formal statement addressing the incident. However, the growing calls for his expulsion and possible legal repercussions may force him to take responsibility for his actions.
This is the United States Congress, not a New York City high school. This action warrants expulsion & I’m introducing a resolution to do just that. https://t.co/rfnLDzFHmK
— Office of Rep. Nicole Malliotakis (@RepMalliotakis) September 30, 2023
In the political landscape already marred by divisiveness and lack of civility, Bowman's actions have only added fuel to the fire. The incident not only reflects poorly on his judgment and character but also brings up larger questions about the conduct of lawmakers in office. As the resolution to expel Bowman is being drafted, it remains to be seen what consequences, if any, he will face for his explosive stunt.