Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the darling of the progressive left, has come to the defense of her fellow New York representative, Jamaal Bowman, who made quite a spectacle by pulling a fire alarm in the Cannon building during a critical vote on the Continuing Resolution spending package. In an interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper on “State of the Union,” Ocasio-Cortez attempted to justify Bowman’s actions by suggesting that the government shutdown was imminent and the building’s exits were mysteriously closed.
But here’s the problem with her argument: the emergency exits in the Cannon building were not closed off. In fact, photographic evidence shows that the doors were clearly marked as emergency exits with signs that read, “EMERGENCY EXIT ONLY—PUSH UNTIL ALARM SOUNDS—DOOR WILL UNLOCK IN 30 SECONDS.” There was also a standalone sign prohibiting regular use of the doors. It’s hard to believe that Bowman, a former school principal, didn’t understand that pulling the fire alarm would trigger an actual alarm.
Adding fuel to the fire, sources familiar with the investigation into Bowman’s actions revealed that he actually tore down and discarded the two signs before pulling the alarm. This undermines the claim made by Bowman’s spokeswoman that he didn’t realize he would set off a building alarm. It’s clear that he intentionally removed the signs and then proceeded to activate the alarm.
By pulling the fire alarm, Bowman caused the entire building to be evacuated, putting unnecessary strain on Capitol Police and emergency services who had to treat the alarm as a genuine threat until they knew otherwise. It is a crime to disrupt an official proceeding, and many individuals who participated in the January 6th incident at the Capitol are facing lengthy jail sentences for this offense.
Unfortunately, it seems that AOC is more interested in playing the blame game and deflecting attention away from Bowman’s actions than holding him accountable. This is just another example of the double standard that exists in our political system, where some lawmakers are allowed to get away with behavior that would land others in jail. It’s time for real accountability in Washington.