Rep. Jamaal Bowman censured for pulling fire alarm during vote

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The News

Rep. Jamaal Bowman, D-N.Y., became the third Democrat to be censured this year following a rash of quick-draw procedural moves that have brought similar resolutions against Reps. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich. and Adam Schiff, D-Calif.

The House voted 214 to 191 on Thursday in favor of censuring Bowman for falsely pulling a fire alarm in a Capitol Hill office building in September. Five members voted present, and three frontline Democrats crossed party lines to side with Republicans: Reps. Jahana Hayes, D-Conn., Chris Pappas, D-N.H. and Marie Gluesenkamp Perez, D-Wash.


Speaker Mike Johnson, who presided over the censure vote, called Bowman to the well but ultimately did not read the censure, which, unless otherwise stated in the resolution, is common practice. One Republican member said Johnson “extended common decency” when asked why the censure wasn’t read.


Bowman pled guilty to a misdemeanor and paid a $1000 fine. He also wrote an apology to the Capitol Police as agreed to in a plea deal. In a statement released after the vote, Bowman thanked his Democratic colleagues “for standing up” for him during the debate and then accused Republicans of wanting to “relitigate” his case that had been previously settled in court and with the House Ethics Committee.

“This Republican House is unserious and unproductive, and I know that 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 said.