Bowman arrested during voting rights protest at Capitol

Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-N.Y.), in addition to at least 20 others, was arrested on Thursday during a voting rights demonstration near the Capitol, his office announced.

“Today, Congressman Jamaal Bowman joined a voting rights non-violent direct action at the North Barricade of the U.S. Capitol Building and was arrested by the U.S. Capitol Police,” Marcus Frias, a spokesperson for Bowman, said in a statement. “We will provide more information and updates as we gather them.”

Bowman’s office said that he had been arrested along with “faith leaders and youth who have been hunger striking for our democracy,” among others.

U.S Capitol Police said in a tweet on Thursday that they had issued three warnings to demonstrators after they blocked part of the Capitol’s North Barricade. They said that they started to make arrests after demonstrators did not leave the driveway.

“We made a total of 27 arrests for Crowding, Obstructing or Incommoding (DC Code § 22–1307), and one for violating U.S. Capitol Police Traffic Regulation Section 16.3 (Crowd Control),” Capitol Police said in a subsequent tweet. “The demonstration activity is all clear.”

In a statement to The Hill, Capitol Police did not confirm whether Bowman had been among the 27 people arrested. 

“We encourage the press to reach out to a Member’s office for any comments about a Member of Congress,” Capitol Police said.

The announcement comes one day after Democratic Sens. Joe Manchin (W.Va.) and Kyrsten Sinema (Ariz.) joined all Republicans in the chamber in voting against changing the 60-vote filibuster rule for voting rights legislation. The rules change would have required the support of all 50 Senate Democrats in addition to a tiebreaker vote from Vice President Harris.

The move was expected given that both senators had repeatedly expressed their opposition to changing filibuster rules, seen as a key legislative hurdle for Democrats in passing major priorities like voting rights legislation. 

“[I]n state after state, Republican state legislatures are engaged in an unprecedented effort to suppress the sacred right to vote and subvert the American bedrock of free and fair elections,” President Biden said in a statement following the vote on Wednesday.

“In the face of those threats, I am profoundly disappointed that the United States Senate has failed to stand up for our democracy. I am disappointed — but I am not deterred.”

Updated on Jan. 21 at 2:50 p.m.

Tags Filibuster filibuster reform Jamaal Bowman Joe Biden Joe Manchin Joe Manchin Kyrsten Sinema Kyrsten Sinema Protest voting rights voting rights legislation

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