Well, it looks like the Senate got it together enough to pass a short-term spending bill — a “stopgap bill,” funding the government for another 45 days.
The bill passed in the Senate 88-9 on Saturday night with just three hours to spare, Fox News reported.
The bill had passed the House 335-91 Saturday afternoon.
President Joe Biden signed the bill late Saturday, according to ABC News, so, a shutdown has been avoided for now.
But it wasn’t clear it was going to work out that way.
Democrat Rep. Jamaal Bowman of New York was apparently so eager to cause a shutdown that he actually committed a criminal offense.
Cameras caught the congressman pulling a fire alarm in the Cannon Building of the Capitol complex on Saturday morning just before the House stopgap vote took place, according to CNN. The Cannon Building was evacuated for about an hour, according to The Associated Press.
Pulling a fire alarm in a building filled with people is a grave offense, capable of causing panic and potential harm, especially considering the presence of older lawmakers within the building. But the larger crime is the attempt to disrupt official proceedings, an act as several prominent political voices have pointed out, is the same crime Jan 6 defendants are being held for.
Bowman’s office claimed it was an accident, and Bowman told reporters he thought the alarm would open the door because he was trying to get to his vote, and the door wasn’t open.
“I was just trying to get to my vote,” Bowman told reporters, according to Fox News. “The door that’s usually open wasn’t open. And you know, I didn’t mean to cause confusion… I didn’t know I was going to trip the whole building. I thought it would help me open the door.”
And it just happened to happen while his party was trying to keep a vote from taking place on the House floor? Maybe.
In response to a question from a reporter, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy called it an “embarrassment” and said the ethics committee should “look at this,” according to CNN.
“This is an embarrassment. You are elected to be a member of Congress. You pulled a fire alarm, in a (matter) of hours before the government being shut down, trying to dictate that the government would shut down?” McCarthy said.
“I was really appalled watching Democrats’ actions today, to delay it to get to a shutdown, McCarthy said. “But when we found that an individual elected to Congress would pull a fire alarm — that’s a new low,” McCarthy said.
“We watched how people have been treated if they’ve done something wrong in this Capitol — it will be interesting to see how he is treated. And what he was trying to obstruct when it came to the American public.”
McCarthy responds to a photo showing Jamaal Bowman pulling the Capitol fire alarm.
“That’s a new low. We watched how people have been treated if they’ve done something wrong in this Capitol — will be interesting to see how he is treated.” pic.twitter.com/O8nTSVHTCy
— Citizen Free Press (@CitizenFreePres) September 30, 2023
But Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia is demanding more action than “seeing” how the Democratic Congressman is treated. Greene said Bowman should face the same penalties faced by those indicted for their actions during the Capitol incursion of Jan. 6, 2021.
Democrat Rep. Jamaal Bowman pulled the fire alarm in the Cannon building this afternoon and interrupted the official proceedings of the House as Republicans worked to keep the government open.
I’m calling on the DOJ to prosecute him using the same law they used to prosecute J6… pic.twitter.com/KlXjwVrkc1
— Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene🇺🇸 (@RepMTG) September 30, 2023
“He violated the exact same law that January 6 defendants are being prosecuted for every single day,” Greene told reporters outside the Capitol. “He violated the exact same law … interrupting official proceedings … by pulling the fire alarm … it’s on video and the Capitol police have the information.”
“I’m demanding that the Department of Justice prosecute him the same way they prosecuted the January 6 defendants,” Greene added. “It’s the exact same law.”
Greene then went on to show reporters the law in question, highlighted on a sheet of paper she was holding. She seemed to be quoting from 18 U.S.C. Section 1512(c), part two of which of which states:
“[Anyone who] otherwise obstructs, influences, or impedes any official proceeding, or attempts to do so, is subject to fines under this title or imprisonment for up to 20 years, or both.”
“This is the law that January 6 defendants are being locked up, they’re rotting in jail and they’re being prosecuted every single day … nonviolent offenders are being put in jail for this,” Greene said.
Other prominent voices are also calling for equal treatment under the law.
Republican Rep. Nicole Malliotakis of New York tweeted, “This is the United States Congress, not a New York City high school. To pull the fire alarm to disrupt proceedings when we are trying to draft legislation to AVERT A SHUTDOWN is pathetic…even for members of the socialist squad.”
This is the United States Congress, not a New York City high school. This action warrants expulsion & I’m introducing a resolution to do just that. https://t.co/rfnLDzFHmK
— Office of Rep. Nicole Malliotakis (@RepMalliotakis) September 30, 2023
Conservative radio host Glen Beck posted, “Arrest him. The footage is there. This is the same violation of obstruction that took down those at Jan 6th. Arrest him.”
— Glenn Beck (@glennbeck) September 30, 2023
However, according to CNN, Bowman said House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries met with him and that his tone was “supportive,” and “he understood that was a mistake.”
It’s funny how that works.
Republican Rep. Lisa McClain, from Michigan, is circulating a resolution to censure Bowman over the incident, CNN reported.
But Bowman thinks it’s funny, laughing it off with, “They’re gonna do what they do. This is what they do.”
Bowman can laugh because he knows his Democrat allies in the House will support, protect and defend him. They’ll make excuses for him, be sympathetic to him, and believe him when he says it was an “accident.”
And he knows the establishment media will have his back.
He’s part of the ruling class with the clout that comes with it.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.