WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — New York Democratic Rep. Jamaal Bowman is under investigation after he pulled a fire alarm ahead of a consequential vote to fund the government.
Three days later, House Republicans say they have no intention of sweeping matters under the rug.
“This has to be addressed directly,” said Rep. Derrick Van Orden, R-Wis.
Bowman insists he pulled the alarm by mistake.
In a statement, he said he was rushing to get to the vote and activated the alarm while trying to open a locked exit door. The door is typically open during weekdays.
But Republicans aren’t buying it.
“Nowhere does it say, ‘Pull the fire alarm to open the door,'” Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., said.
“This is someone who was a school principal,” said Rep. Nicole Malliotakis, R-N.Y. “He knows very well what a fire alarm is.”
“If you surveyed 100 New Yorkers, zero would believe his story,” Rep. Nick LaLota, R-N.Y., said.
Some lawmakers have compared Bowman’s alleged delay tactic to the crimes of the Jan. 6 rioters.
“Congressman Bowman is facing 36 years in prison,” Rep. Van Orden said.
According to the U.S. Capitol Police, the incident remains under investigation. Police would not say if they plan to charge Bowman with a crime.
Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., says Bowman’s actions warrant a punishment. On Tuesday, he said he was talking with the Democratic House leader, New York Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, about next steps.
“I’m trying to let him know what’s going to be coming to the floor,” McCarthy said.
At this time, Jeffries is not weighing in on Bowman’s actions, nor is the White House.
But Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union,” Democratic New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez called Republicans’ outrage hypocritical.
“Give me a break,” she said.