Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-NY) would be expelled from Congress if held to the same standard as Rep. George Santos (R-NY), House Majority Whip Tom Emmer (R-MN) said Tuesday.
“If people think [expelling Santos is] appropriate, then Jamaal Bowman should be expelled,” Emmer said, according to Politico.
Whip Tom Emmer when asked about whether he supports removing Santos:
“If people think that’s appropriate, then Jamaal Bowman should be expelled,” Emmer said, noting Bowman convicted of a crime.
He didn’t say how he’d vote on Santos.
— Olivia Beavers (@Olivia_Beavers) November 29, 2023
Rep. Robert Garcia (D-CA) filed a privileged resolution Tuesday to expel Santos from the House. The House must vote on the resolution within two legislative days, setting up the historic vote for Thursday.
As Emmer observed, Bowman has been convicted of a crime, while Santos has not yet had his day in court and pleaded not guilty to federal crimes.
Watch: Security Video Shows Democrat Jamaal Bowman Take Down Warning Signs, Pull Fire AlarmU.S. Capitol Police
In September, Bowman pulled a fire alarm in the Cannon House Office Building moments before Republican Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) held a critical vote to fund the government as Democrats in the Senate were rushing to finalize a funding agreement of their own, robbing Republicans of leverage.
Bowman, a former middle school principal, claimed he pulled the alarm thinking it would open the door, insisting he was trying to make the vote across the street in the Capitol before time expired.
Republicans claimed he was trying to delay the vote, potentially a federal crime.
Obtained by @NY1: Footage of Rep. Bowman pulling the fire alarm in the Cannon House Office Bldg on Sept. 30.
Bowman pleaded guilty this morning in court to "willfully or knowingly giving false fire alarm" in DC. pic.twitter.com/HaBBAaLQqI
— Kevin Frey (@KevinFreyTV) October 26, 2023
Breitbart News was the first to report that Bowman, a former middle school principal, threw emergency warning signs to the ground before pulling the fire alarm, discrediting Bowman’s claims. Footage later confirmed Breitbart’s reporting.
Bowman was charged by the D.C. Attorney General but entered a plea deal to the misdemeanor charge of willfully or knowingly falsely pulling a fire alarm. Bowman agreed to pay a meager $1000 fine and write a formal apology to U.S. Capitol Police, a punishment many Republicans say amounts to a slap on the wrist for a crime carrying a maximum sentence of six months.
He was never charged for the more serious federal crime of disrupting a federal proceeding.
Regardless, the discrepancy in the treatment of Santos and Bowman stands out, particularly as Republicans have rushed to distance themselves from Santos while offering little more than platitudes and snarky tweets regarding Bowman.
Democrats have uniformly supported Bowman, even as he was caught lying to them and subsequently admitted to a crime.
Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA), who has had little to say about Bowman, is pressuring Santos to resign to prevent his fellow Republicans from having to make a tough vote.
Santos’s fellow freshmen Republicans in the New York delegation — Reps. Nick LaLota, Nick Langworthy, Anthony D’Esposito, Mike Lawler, and Marc Molinaro — called for him to resign in January. Sophomore Rep. Andrew Garbarino, a member of the House Ethics Committee, voted to refer evidence against Santos to the Department of Justice.
The ethics committee decided against pursuing action against Bowman.
Many New York Republican delegates have led the charge to expel Santos, taking to the House floor multiple times throughout the year encouraging his ouster, even during important House debates on government funding.
One of them, D’Esposito, moved Tuesday to make the resolution to expel Santos privileged and force a vote.
None of those New York Republicans have taken similar action against their fellow New Yorker Bowman, despite his admitting to committing a crime.
Follow Bradley Jaye on Twitter at @BradleyAJaye.