Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-N.Y.) on Saturday pulled a fire alarm in a House building in the midst of chaotic and tense negotiations on Capitol Hill to avert a government shutdown.
Bowman was caught on camera pulling the alarm in the Cannon House building right around the time that Democrats on the House floor were stalling for time in order to review a new GOP proposal for keeping the government open.
Bowman’s chief of staff Sarah Iddrissu later tweeted that it was an accident.
Congressman Bowman did not realize he would trigger a building alarm as he was rushing to make an urgent vote. The Congressman regrets any confusion.
— Sarah (@SarahIddrissu) September 30, 2023
It’s not clear how it could be an accident to pull a fire alarm.
The Capitol Police was reportedly circulating a photo of Bowman setting off the alarm.
Rep. Bryan Steil (R-Wis.), the chairman of the House Administration Committee, tweeted that the committee is looking into what happened.
Rep Jamaal Bowman pulled a fire alarm in Cannon this morning. An investigation into why it was pulled is underway. – Chairman Bryan Steil
— House Admin. Committee GOP (@HouseAdmin) September 30, 2023
Requests for comment from the U.S. Capitol Police and from Bowman’s office were not immediately returned.
Shortly after the strange incident, Bowman joined virtually all Democrats in supporting the short-term government funding.