Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-N.Y.) pulled a fire alarm in a House building Saturday amid chaotic and tense negotiations on Capitol Hill to avert a government shutdown.
Bowman was caught on camera raising the alarm in the Cannon House building, just as House Democrats were biding their time to consider a new GOP proposal to keep the government open.
Bowman’s chief of staff, Sarah Iddrissu, later tweeted that it was an accident.
It is not clear how an accident could occur if a fire alarm goes off. Archer he later told reporters He “didn’t know it was going to trip the whole building” when he pulled the fire alarm and ordered an evacuation.
The US Capitol Police were He reportedly distributed a photo from Bowman, who raises the alarm.
Paul Starks, a spokesman for the Capitol Police, confirmed further details and said they were investigating how this happened.
“At 12:05pm today a fire alarm was activated on the second floor of the Cannon House office building. The building was evacuated while USCP officers checked the building. After determining there was no danger, the building was reopened. “An investigation into what happened and why continues,” Starks said in a statement.
House Republican Conference Chairwoman Elise Stefanik (N.Y.) said Bowman committed a crime by pulling a fire alarm when there was no emergency and suggested he did so to help Democrats Debate about a government spending law is becoming scarce.
Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-California) said CNN’s Manu Raju that the incident was “embarrassing” and that Bowman “should not go unpunished.”
Rep. Bryan Steil (R-Wis.), chairman of the House Administration Committee, tweeted that the committee is investigating what happened.
A request for comment from Bowman’s office was not immediately returned.
Shortly after the strange incident, Bowman joined virtually all Democrats in supporting short-term government financing.