New York Republican Mike Lawler is calling for Democrat Jamaal Bowman to step down after he admitted to pulling the fire alarm at the Capitol on Saturday during an 11th hour scramble to avoid a government shutdown.
“That any member of Congress would think it’s appropriate to pull a fire alarm to try and delay Congress from doing its business is shameful, it’s unbecoming, and he should strongly consider resigning from Congress if he did that,” Lawler said on Fox News.
Despite Lawler's proposal, Bowman has given no indication he plans to resign, and his party has shown no desire to penalize him.
Some Republicans have called for Bowman to be expelled or prosecuted for obstructing an official proceeding - a charge that has been used against many January 6th participants, as well as President Trump, who has called for Bowman to face charges.
“It was a very dangerous ‘Obstruction of an Official Proceeding,’ the same as used against our J-6 prisoners,” Trump wrote. “Actually, his act may have been worse. HE MUST SUFFER THEIR SAME FATE. WHEN WILL HIS TRIAL BEGIN???”
Bowman admitted to pulling the alarm at the Cannon House Office building Saturday afternoon. At the time, the House was meeting to vote on a GOP-backed bill to keep the government open for 45 days.
Republicans have accused Bowman of trying to obstruct their efforts to fund the government, after Democrats spent weeks pre-emptively blaming a shutdown on Republicans.
Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Ca.) ultimately wrangled members of both parties behind the stopgap measure, paving a path to keep the government open - and sparking a fresh row between McCarthy and conservatives on his right who demanded spending cuts.
Bowman has said he pulled the alarm by mistake, thinking it would open an exit door. But the action wasn't out of character for Bowman, known for his disruptive, bullying behavior.
“This should not go without punishment,” McCarthy said.
Bowman has said he was "embarrassed" and that far from delaying the vote, he was rushing to participate in it.
"I am embarrassed to admit that I activated the fire alarm, mistakenly thinking it would open the door. I regret this and sincerely apologize for any confusion this caused," he said.
Either Bowman is a liar, or he's not smart enough to be serving in Congress.