October 17th, 2013
12:24 AM ET
9 months ago

Stenographer snaps, rants on House floor

Updated: 2:06 p.m. ET, 10/17/2013

Washington (CNN) – Amid all the chaos of the last-minute deal in Washington, there was an unusual moment on the House floor moments after the bill passed.

A House stenographer and well-known employee calmly took to a microphone and began screaming.


"Do not be deceived. God shall not be mocked. A House divided cannot stand," she said, according to a House GOP aide. After a few seconds, she was escorted out by the Sergeant-at-Arms, but an audio recording by Todd Zwillich of Public Radio International captured the rest of her rant.

"He will not be mocked, He will not be mocked, (don't touch me) He will not be mocked. The greatest deception here, is that this is not one nation under God. It never was. Had it been... it would not have been... No. it would not have been... the Constitution would not have been written by Free Masons... and go against God. You cannot serve two masters. You cannot serve two masters. Praise be to God, Lord Jesus Christ."

House members and aides were surprised and unsettled by the scene.

"I don't know, she just snapped," said a GOP aide.

CNN's Dana Bash spoke with several staffers who knew the woman well.

"She’s a well-known person, she’s a perfectly nice person, a good colleague, somebody who’s respectable and dependable, and this is very surprising to everybody who works with her," Bash reported on air.

"The Sergeant in Arms didn’t try to stop her because she works there and that’s where she’s situated," Rep. Peter King, R-New York, told Jake Tapper. "And she actually went up behind the podium where the president speaks from. They thought she was going to hand something to the speaker, and then they realized."

Officer Shennell S. Antrobus of Capitol Police told CNN she wasn’t arrested or charged and was transported to a local area hospital by DC Fire for further evaluation.

In terms of an ongoing investigation or further action about the stenographer, Antrobus said no such action will be taken.

"There is nothing more, from our end, that we are going to do," Antrobus said.

–CNN’s Deirdre Walsh, Steve Brusk, Dan Merica and Conor Finnegan contributed to this report.


Filed under: Government Shutdown • House
soundoff (1,094 Responses)
  1. John

    Did she think Obama was Antichrist?

    October 17, 2013 12:32 am at 12:32 am |
  2. Michael

    If you had to deal with all of these tea partiers all day long, you would go crazy too.

    October 17, 2013 12:34 am at 12:34 am |
  3. wotudezerv

    someone should rant at congress -they make the nation crazy with their selfish power hungry greed, callousness, and cowards. i don't know about the god talk,but i know this: congress does not serve the people of this country.

    October 17, 2013 12:34 am at 12:34 am |
  4. Jim1973

    totally watched that live on cspan then kept rewinding and playing it over and over. Crazy religious nut but I think we can be grateful she didn't take her wacky religious rhetoric to a more dark place.

    October 17, 2013 12:38 am at 12:38 am |
  5. Dave

    The right wing of America are driving people insane. You need to tone down your rhetoric.

    October 17, 2013 12:39 am at 12:39 am |
  6. karen14217

    Religion makes people crazy.

    October 17, 2013 12:40 am at 12:40 am |
  7. scott cisney

    Sounds like she's overdosed on Jesus. Take two Satans and call me in the morning!

    October 17, 2013 12:41 am at 12:41 am |
  8. regular guy

    the demons left the bodies of the congressmen after the budget was signed, and they entered her body. may jesus be with her. satan is one scary dude.

    October 17, 2013 12:41 am at 12:41 am |
  9. me

    and that is all anyone needs to understand about the sanity of the christian right...

    October 17, 2013 12:41 am at 12:41 am |
  10. Topher

    ...another perfectly FANTASTIC reason showing EVERYONE, that believing that man made religions/mythology are true, and that Human beings have souls, gods, and after lives, is just INSANE :)

    INSANE.

    insane.

    (in all membranes)

    October 17, 2013 12:42 am at 12:42 am |
  11. j

    Someone who worships a magical sky fairy did something crazy?!

    Say what...?!

    October 17, 2013 12:42 am at 12:42 am |
  12. Kirsten

    That is unfortunate. I have to say, if I had had to listen to those people for two weeks, I might have gone a little crazy myself. I hope she can get some help.

    October 17, 2013 12:43 am at 12:43 am |
  13. Mike Mathews

    This story is a perfect example of why Congress got it wrong when in 1954 they bowed to religious lobbyists and for the first time in history they put "under God" in the pledge of allegiance. We have never been a nation under God. We were founded as a nation under law (the Constitution), and we will always will be one nation under Law.

    October 17, 2013 12:44 am at 12:44 am |
  14. Squincher

    At least this woman is honestly crazy and doesn't try to deny it unlike the rest of the House.

    October 17, 2013 12:46 am at 12:46 am |
  15. JGN

    Well I guess Halloween isn't her favorite holiday...

    October 17, 2013 12:46 am at 12:46 am |
  16. Polopoint

    oh boy. they're all cracked now!

    October 17, 2013 12:47 am at 12:47 am |
  17. David

    Well ... I hear working for Congress will drive anyone nuts. At least she seems to give a damn.

    October 17, 2013 12:49 am at 12:49 am |
  18. John

    Unfortunately, having a mental breakdown like that almost certainly means they will never let her work there again, no matter how remorseful she was after receiving treatment. Whereas, if she had slipped and broken her leg on the House floor and caused a disruption in that way, she'd be back at work in no time, with flowers and cards and well-wishes.

    October 17, 2013 12:50 am at 12:50 am |
  19. Wootings

    " she was transported to a local hospital for evaluation"

    Thank goodness. If only we would extend the same care to all other religious people.

    October 17, 2013 12:50 am at 12:50 am |
  20. Hadenuffyet

    Or she could have told them what everybody outside DC already knows , the political culture of Washington is a ragged shambles and is due for a complete overhaul. She might have been viewed a bit less eccentric.

    October 17, 2013 12:51 am at 12:51 am |
  21. Chris

    Maybe Fox news will hire her as an anchor.

    October 17, 2013 12:52 am at 12:52 am |
  22. regenesis0

    These comments about deception, finance reform and the divided house would have been much more appropriate a few days ago, but not just as a deal has been struck!
    (I hope she feels better!)

    October 17, 2013 12:53 am at 12:53 am |
  23. Alex S.

    Poor lady.. Anybody could go bananas hanging around the idiots that are in Congress.

    October 17, 2013 12:53 am at 12:53 am |
  24. The Truth

    What a loon. She had an opportunity to yell at congress for being incompetent windbags and instead went off on them about "god". Enjoy the unemployment line, our government has made sure it's nice and long for you.

    October 17, 2013 12:55 am at 12:55 am |
  25. Anonymous

    Stenographer rants...gets sent to the mental ward....if she'd been a GOP member, she'd probably become another Tea Party poster child...gotta love the GOP

    October 17, 2013 12:56 am at 12:56 am |
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