A temporary funding bill was passed by the House of Representatives on Saturday to prevent the federal government from shutting down. This bill will keep the government offices open for the next 45 days. However, it does not include any funding for Ukraine, which had been present in several Senate versions of continuing resolutions. The New York Times reported that the bill was passed with a majority of 335-91, with 209 Democrats and 126 Republicans in support.
According to The Hill, McCarthy stated that the bill would allow the House and Senate to complete their work and keep the government open for 45 days.
The day was not without drama, as Republican Reps. According to the Los Angeles Times, Marjorie Taylor Greene, Dan Bishop, Matt Gaetz, and Andy Biggs voted against the resolution.
Screenshot: X: Rep Andy Biggs
However, the most exciting event came ahead of a critical House vote concerning a government funding bill to prevent a government shutdown. Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-N.Y.) found himself at the center of an investigation following his accidental fire alarm triggering in the Cannon House Office Building, often called the “Old House Office Building.” The incident led to a temporary evacuation of the premises while the House was in session around noon.
The building was declared safe and reopened an hour later by the Capitol Police, who confirmed that there was no threat. Rep. Bowman’s office described the incident as an innocent mishap. In a subsequent statement, Bowman explained that he was in haste to participate in the vote when he encountered an uncharacteristically locked door. Mistakenly assuming that the fire alarm trigger would unlock the door, he activated it.
Screenshot: X: Collin Rugg
Expressing his embarrassment over the confusion caused, Bowman clarified that his actions were not intended to delay the vote. On the contrary, he was eager to reach the voting floor, which he eventually did, joining his colleagues in a bipartisan effort to pass the stopgap funding bill with a 335-91 vote tally. The bill, aimed at keeping federal agencies operational, was later signed into law by President Joe Biden, effectively averting a government shutdown on October 1.
Despite the clarifications, some, including House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), criticized Bowman for the fire alarm incident. McCarthy called for an ethics investigation into Bowman’s actions, which were captured on camera, suggesting that such behavior should not go unpunished. He even drew a parallel between this incident and the actions of individuals involved in the Capitol breach on January 6, 2021.
Bowman, however, received support from House Democrat leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.), who acknowledged the incident as a mere mistake. Bowman reiterated that the criticism from McCarthy and other Republicans aimed to weaponize an innocent error, emphasizing that his sole intention was to reach the voting floor on time.
The Capitol Police continue to investigate the circumstances surrounding the fire alarm trigger as the narrative of an accidental act unfolds amidst a politically charged atmosphere.