House votes to censure Rep. Bowman for pulling a fire alarm in a Capitol office building

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By Carina

In a move reflecting the escalating partisan tensions within the U.S. House of Representatives, members voted on Thursday to censure Democratic Representative Jamaal Bowman.

This action was taken in response to an incident where Bowman triggered a fire alarm in a U.S. Capitol office building while the chamber was in session.

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Bowman, third Democrat censured this year amid partisan House divide

The censure, a severe reprimand just below expulsion, marks Bowman as the third Democrat to face such action this year.

The resolution, introduced by Republicans and passed with a 214-191 vote, saw a few Democrats supporting it.

However, most of the Democratic Party stood in solidarity with Bowman, criticizing the move as lacking credibility and integrity.

This situation underscores the increasing use of censure as a political tool in the House, often leading to heated debates and deepening the divide between the two parties.

Bowman criticizes GOP’s censure tactics in House debate

Rep. Jamaal Bowman, known for his progressive views, defended himself vehemently.

On Wednesday, during the floor debate, he articulated his frustration, stating, “It’s painfully obvious to myself, my colleagues, and the American people that the Republican Party is deeply unserious and unable to legislate.”

He continued, “Their censure resolution against me today demonstrates their inability to govern and serve the American people.” Bowman’s comments reflect a broader sentiment among Democrats, who view the repeated use of censure as a tactic for political gain by Republicans.

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House chaotic year ends with controversial censure of Bowman

The censure vote caps a tumultuous year in the House, marked by unprecedented events, including removing a member from a committee assignment, the first ouster of a speaker in history, and last week’s rare expulsion of a lawmaker – only the third since the Civil War.

Republican Representative Lisa McClain of Michigan, who introduced the censure resolution against Bowman, defended the action.

She accused Bowman of pulling the alarm in September to disrupt House proceedings as lawmakers scrambled to pass a government funding bill.

“It is reprehensible that a Member of Congress would go to such lengths to prevent House Republicans from bringing forth a vote to keep the government operating and Americans receiving their paychecks,” McClain stated in a release.

Bowman pleads guilty to misdemeanor, faces penalties for Capitol Incident

In October, Bowman pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor count related to the incident, which occurred in the Capitol House Office Building.

He agreed to a $1,000 fine and three months of probation, following which the charge is expected to be dismissed under an agreement with prosecutors.

Bowman expressed remorse, explaining that he intended to get through an unexpectedly closed door. His action caused a building-wide evacuation, disrupting the work of the House and its staff members.

Democrats slam GOP censure tactics, Jeffries issues defiant challenge

Progressive Democrats rallied to Bowman’s defense, criticizing the Republican effort to censure him as “unserious.”

Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries notably expressed disdain for the Republicans’ actions during a Wednesday floor speech, challenging, “Censure me next.

That’s how worthless your effort is.” He added, “It has no credibility. No integrity. No legitimacy. Censure me next, and I’ll take that censure, and I’ll wear it next week, next month, next year like a badge of honor.”

This increasing use of censure reflects a shift in the House’s approach to discipline.

McGovern criticizes GOP focus on censure over legislative action in House

Rep. Jim McGovern, D-Mass., lamented this trend during the debate, saying, “Under Republican control, this chamber has become a place where trivial issues get debated passionately and important ones not at all.”

He criticized Republicans for focusing more on censuring members than on passing meaningful legislation.

Censure, while carrying no practical implications, represents a severe reproach from colleagues.

Bowman joins growing list of censured House members

Typically, censured lawmakers are asked to stand in the well of the House as the resolution is read aloud, a ritual that publicly underscores the gravity of the reprimand.

With this latest censure, Bowman joins a small but growing list of House members who have faced this rare form of discipline.

Recently, Democrats Rashida Tlaib and Adam Schiff were also censured – Tlaib for her comments on the Israel-Hamas conflict and Schiff for remarks made about investigations into then-President Donald Trump’s ties to Russia.

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