Representative Jamaal Bowman, a Democrat from New York, created a stir among conservatives and the media on Sunday when he issued multiple statements regarding his action of triggering a fire alarm in a congressional office building.
The incident occurred on Saturday while lawmakers were in the midst of voting on a bill aimed at averting a government shutdown. Bowman explained in a statement that he had activated the alarm while rushing to cast his vote on the bill. His chief of staff, Sarah Iddrissu, stated that Bowman had not anticipated triggering the alarm.
In a tweet, Iddrissu clarified, “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.”
Bowman later posted another statement on social media, reiterating his belief that the alarm would have unlocked a door. He expressed embarrassment over the incident and apologized for any confusion, emphasizing that he did not intend to delay the vote but rather the opposite.
However, Representative Ralph Norman, a Republican from South Carolina, dismissed the statement from Bowman’s chief of staff as “complete garbage.” Norman asserted that it was implausible for Bowman not to have realized that deliberately pulling a fire alarm would trigger an actual fire alarm.
Some other Republican members of Congress viewed the statement as “proof” of how far Democrats were willing to go to push for a government shutdown, while others remained skeptical of Bowman’s explanation.
Don't you hate when you're rushing to the House floor and accidentally pull the fire alarm on your way there? https://t.co/Ivuyujtwa2
— Rep. Dan Bishop (@RepDanBishop) September 30, 2023
He did not realize deliberately pulling a fire alarm would… trigger a fire alarm.
This statement is complete garbage. https://t.co/z0Q6M7plfp
— Rep. Ralph Norman (@RepRalphNorman) September 30, 2023
Why did you delete this? pic.twitter.com/m28nIyVEeH
— Laura Loomer (@LauraLoomer) October 1, 2023