Three House Democrats joined Republicans in voting to censure Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-N.Y.) on Thursday, bucking party leadership to back a reprimand of their liberal colleague.
Reps. Jahana Hayes (D-Conn.), Chris Pappas (D-N.H.) and Marie Gluesenkamp Perez (D-Wash.) all supported the censure resolution, bringing the final vote to 214-191-5.
Four Democrats and one Republican voted present: Reps. Chrissy Houlahan (D-Pa.), Glenn Ivey (D-Md.), Deborah Ross (D-N.C.), Susan Wild (D-Pa.) and Andy Harris (R-Md.).
The chamber censured Bowman roughly two months after the New York Democrat falsely pulled a fire alarm in the Cannon House Office Building during a vote on averting a government shutdown, prompting an evacuation.
Bowman was charged with a misdemeanor and pleaded guilty. According to an agreement with prosecutors, he is required to write an apology to U.S. Capitol Police and pay a $1,000 fine.
Pappas told The Hill that while he voted to table the censure resolution Wednesday “because we have far more pressing issues to tackle for the country,” he supported it on the floor for final passage Thursday because Bowman broke the law.
“But at the end of the day, Representative Bowman broke the law when he pulled the fire alarm during House proceedings and has since pled guilty. The resolution was a straightforward condemnation of his actions, and I voted yes,” he said in a statement.
Hayes in a statement said she voted to censure Bowman because she thought what he did “was wrong,” but she also related a story from her hometown that prompted her vote.
“In my hometown of Waterbury, Connecticut, we continue to mourn the lives of two firefighters who died, and another who was seriously injured, when their fire truck slammed into a tree while racing to respond to a false alarm. I have spent the better part of the last decade, working with the families of those firefighters and the Waterbury community, to honor their memory and educate our children on the work of first responders,” she wrote.
Hayes said she met with Bowman after the vote and shared with him work from the Rivera-Hughes Memorial Foundation, which was established to memorialize the fallen firefighters — Heriberto “Eddie” Rivera and Howard Hughes, who died in 1990, according to the Hartford Courant — and empower youth.
“While there may be some who do not understand this vote, I cannot set an example for these children by saying one thing to them and doing another – and party affiliation should not matter,” she wrote.
Republicans had accused Bowman of purposely pulling the fire alarm to delay the government funding vote. Then-Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) released text for a “clean” continuing resolution that morning and quickly scheduled a vote on the measure, leaving Democrats little time to parse through the particulars. Because of the schedule, Democrats had deployed a number of stall tactics.
Bowman, however, has said he mistakenly pulled the alarm when rushing out of the Cannon to cast his vote on government funding. He said the door he usually exits the building from was locked, and he pulled the alarm by accident, thinking it would unlock the door.
In a statement following the vote, Bowman called House Republicans “unserious and unproductive.”
“This Republican House is unserious and unproductive, and I know that their efforts to target me are a testament to the importance of my voice in pushing back against their disingenuous rhetoric and harmful policies,” he wrote.
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