Disgraced and mendacious gay U.S. Rep. George Santos (R-NY) can’t seem to stop relishing in the fact that one of his Democratic colleagues made a relatively inconsequential mistake.
Santos – who is currently facing federal prosecution on seven counts of wire fraud, three counts of money laundering, two counts of making materially false statements to the House of Representatives, and one count of theft of public funds – has been mocking Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-NY), who recently pulled the fire alarm during a key House vote but has maintained it was an accident.
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Santos and his colleagues believe Bowman pulled the alarm on purpose, as the Democrats were desperate to delay a vote on a 45-day funding bill that would prevent a government shutdown. As reported by the Associated Press, the GOP released the bill in the 11th hour, and Democrats wanted more time to review it before the vote.
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Santos has since compared Bowman’s act to the rioters at the Capitol on January 6th and has also accused him of treason. Most recently, he has proposed an amendment to a major government funding bill focused on “ensuring fire safety protocol in the halls of Congress.” It’s not clear whether Santos actually introduced the amendment or if the proposal on Twitter is tongue-in-cheek but either way, Santos appears convinced Bowman’s actions were egregious enough to warrant the attention.
The New York representative introduced the amendment on Tuesday morning as a group of his Republican colleagues were revving up to (successfully) oust Republican House Speaker Kevin McCarthy. But it seemed Santos felt he had bigger fish to fry than to consider the incoming chaos at his place of work.
A statement from Santos announcing the proposed amendment said that “some members may not realize the consequences of pulling a fire alarm under false pretenses, so we need to make sure that these legislators learn to spot potential dangers, evaluate the risks involved, take preventative measures, and know what to do in the event of a real emergency.”
The proposal also states that if a Congressmember falsely pulls a fire alarm, they should be required to undergo a three-hour training with the Office of the Sergeant at Arms that includes “training in how to recognize fire alarms visually” and “training in how to be protected in the event of fire, including training in the principles of ‘stop, drop, and roll.'”
🧯A burning House is a burning shame.— Rep. George Santos (@RepSantosNY03) October 3, 2023
I proposed an amendment that raises awareness of the alarming risks of fire hazards through comprehensive fire prevention training, particularly for members who may not know how to recognize a fire alarm. pic.twitter.com/qt7t8mlRx9
Santos has latched on to this specific incident as evidence of Democratic corruption. He even posted another facetious video on Twitter explaining how a fire alarm works.
Perhaps he believes that continuing to draw attention to Bowman’s actions will distract from the fact that he is currently facing federal prosecution. In his original video blasting Bowman, he declared: “It’s an embarrassment that this colleague of mine thought that committing an act of treason to obstruct a proceeding he did not agree with was appropriate,” Santos said, “and he is now trying to play it off as if it were an accident. This is the same standard that the people from January 6 were held with. I want him to be held at the same standard.”
Bowman has told the press that he did not pull the fire alarm to delay a vote but that he mistakenly set it off while actually in a rush to get to a vote. He got stuck behind a door that is not typically locked.
“I thought it would help me open the door,” he explained.
A later statement from Bowman said, “I want to be very clear, this was not me, in any way, trying to delay any vote. It was the exact opposite – I was trying to urgently get to a vote, which I ultimately did and joined my colleagues in a bipartisan effort to keep our government open.”
As Bowman stated, the bill ultimately passed the House in a 335-91 vote, with 90 Republicans and one Democrat voting against it. It then passed the Senate 88-9 just hours before the midnight deadline.
The hypocrisy surrounding the GOP’s desire to punish Bowman, despite their continued support of Santos, has not gone unnoticed.
In an interview on CNN, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) slammed Republicans for moving to immediately file motions to censure or expel Bowman “before there has even been conversations that are finished to even see if there was a misunderstanding here.”
“But while they did that, what they did not do was to commit to the same when George Santos was actually found guilty after a thorough investigation of thirteen federal charges… They have been buddying up and giggling with him on the House floor… But they’re filing a motion to expel a member who in a moment of panic was trying to escape a vestibule? Give me a break.”