WASHINGTON - Rep. Jamaal Bowman, D-N.Y., pulled a fire alarm in the Cannon House office building on Saturday as both parties negotiated over a deal to avert a government shutdown.
Rep. Bryan Steil, R-Wis., chair of the House Administration Committee, said in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter, that “an investigation into why it was pulled is underway.”
But Emma Simon, Bowman's spokesperson, later said in a statement that Bowman "did not realize he would trigger a building alarm as he was rushing to make an urgent vote.
"The congressman regrets any confusion," Simon said.
A short-term stopgap measure, which passed the House, would keep the government funded at current levels for 45 days and includes President Joe Biden’s request for $16 billion in additional disaster relief funding, but omits additional aid for Ukraine.
In a bid to buy more time for House Democrats to read a 71-page stopgap measure before it was voted on, House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., used what is referred to as a "magic minute."
Under House rules, leadership is able to speak for an unlimited amount of time. McCarthy in November 2021 spoke for over eight hours to delay Biden's "Build Back Better" bill.
"Strap in, because this may take a while," Jeffries said on the House floor.
The measure will move to the Senate to be voted on to avoid a government shutdown in less than twelve hours.
A shutdown would not only lead to furloughs among thousands of federal workers but impact families who rely on WIC benefits and Head Start programs for childcare, members of the military, visitors to national parks and more.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Bowman's office says he pulled fire alarm in rush to vote