The House has censured Rep. Jamaal Bowman, 214-191, weeks after he pleaded guilty to pulling a fire alarm in a government building, allegedly to delay a critical government funding vote.
Five members — four Democrats and one Republican — voted present.
Censure essentially is an official rebuke from the House but carries little other punishment.
The slap on the wrist for Bowman comes less than a week after the House expelled Rep. George Santos (R-NY) after a House Ethics Committee investigation report found he had knowingly filed false reports with the Federal Election Commission, used campaign funds for personal purposes, including subscriptions to OnlyFans and botox treatments, and willfully violated ethics laws as it relates to his Financial Disclosure (FD) Statements filed with the House.
Yet Santos has not been convicted of a crime and has pleaded not guilty. He received a much harsher punishment — the most severe the House possesses — than Bowman, who pleaded guilty to a crime.
In September, Bowman pulled a fire alarm in the Cannon House Office Building moments before then-Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) held a critical government funding vote. Across the Capitol, Senate Democrats were rushing to piece together a funding agreement of their own.
Republicans claimed Bowman pulled the alarm to force an evacuation of the Capitol complex and delay the House vote, potentially a federal crime, to give Senate Democrats more time to assemble and pass their bill.
Bowman claimed he pulled the alarm thinking it would open the door and that he was trying to make the vote across the street in the Capitol before time expired. But a Breitbart News report broke that Bowman, a former middle school principal, threw emergency warning signs to the ground before pulling the fire alarm, which discredited Bowman’s claims.
Footage later confirmed Breitbart’s exclusive reporting.
Bowman called the censure resolution “unserious”:
It’s painfully obvious to myself, my colleagues, and the American people, that the Republican party is deeply unserious. Their censure resolution against me demonstrates their inability to govern.
I want to thank all of my colleagues who came out and supported me this evening. pic.twitter.com/smgx092NdP
— Congressman Jamaal Bowman (@RepBowman) December 7, 2023
Santos introduced a resolution to expel Bowman hours before Santos himself was expelled.
“He took a plea deal for pulling a fire alarm, a fire alarm which obstructed and delayed an official hearing and proceeding on the House floor,” Santos said. “Now had that been any other person, had it been one of the members of the media, had it been a Republican member of Congress, we all know that person would have been charged with obstructing a congressional hearing, just like the 140 people sitting in prison right now because of January 6. But Jamaal Bowman gets a pass.”
The Republican majority, already slim, took another hit Wednesday as former House Speaker Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) announced he would resign rather than complete his term without the power of the gavel.
Bradley Jaye is a Capitol Hill Correspondent for Breitbart News. Follow him on X/Twitter at @BradleyAJaye.