Rep. Jamaal Bowman Censured By House Of Representatives

On December 7, 2023, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to censure Rep. Jamaal Bowman.

Rep. Bowman, a far-left member of the Squad who represents New York’s 16th congressional district, set off a fire alarm in the Cannon House Office Building on September 30, 2023. Rep. Bowman’s action caused the building to be evacuated. The sponsor of the censure resolution, Rep. Lisa McClain (R-MI), contended that Rep. Bowman activated the alarm to “‘cause chaos and to stop the House from doing its business’” as Congress was working toward passage of legislation to prevent a government shutdown. Rep. Bowman pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor in connection with the fire alarm incident, and he has agreed to serve three months’ probation and pay a $1,000 fine. However, Rep. Bowman continues to assert that his activation of the fire alarm was an honest mistake, not an effort to delay a vote.

A censure is a formal reprimand; short of expulsion, it is the most severe disciplinary action that can be taken by Congress against one of its members. The vote to censure Rep. Bowman was 214-191. According to AP News, Rep. Bowman is the 27th member of Congress in the history of the United States to be censured.

The censure vote is not the only recent political headache Rep. Bowman has faced, and it is not the worst. On December 6, 2023, popular Westchester County Executive George Latimer announced that he would challenge Rep. Bowman in a Democratic congressional primary next year. Rep. Latimer, who describes himself as “a strong supporter of Israel,” is expected to receive support from Jewish organizations and voters who are displeased with Rep. Bowman’s criticisms of Israel. The primary is expected to be highly competitive.

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