October 17th, 2013
12:24 AM ET
1 year 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. laine b

    Imagine the stress of the last couple of weeks...I'm not surprised.

    October 17, 2013 08:05 am at 8:05 am |
  2. BigSir

    One nut among many in that building.

    October 17, 2013 08:05 am at 8:05 am |
  3. bob douglass

    I would love to hear the recording of this

    October 17, 2013 08:05 am at 8:05 am |
  4. momie8x

    If any of them in congress believe in God. well I think they just received an important message!

    October 17, 2013 08:07 am at 8:07 am |
  5. Jaxckso

    Religious loon. The government is broken and diseased on every conceivable level, including low level staff.

    October 17, 2013 08:07 am at 8:07 am |
  6. 1-trupatriot

    One more far right win nut trying to change history claiming that America was founded to be a totally Christian nation. Try re-reading the facts about WHY our ancestors left england, etc. To get away from forced religion and to be allowed to have a say in government. It's called democracy. Something religious fanatics hate. If the gop and tea party want to believe they "won" with the Bill of last night and think their stunt can be repeated (as some tea party nuts are saying) well they are in for a bigger surprise. America was founded not on allowing a free for all or to encourage forced religion on others. It was established that America will be a democracy and No groups or religious fanatics will force this country into religious law (like the Taliban do) or into a dictatorship. Understand thap true patriotism is protecting democracy against a minority group of fanatics of any persuasion who would try to force their will upon a (lawfullly) majority elected government. There will never be a radically driven coup in America. Our democracy will at all costs, survive and prosper against the hateful will of any group of fanatics- religious or otherwise, for self gain and greed. If these groups want to talk about God, they should first go talk to him about their lack of compassion and their lust of greed and power. You all need His lessons on being humble. But I forgot, the teachings of a humble God goes against the desire for ultimate control and material greed exhibited by the Tea party and GOP.

    October 17, 2013 08:08 am at 8:08 am |
  7. Deborah Williams

    SHE DOES NOT NEED TO BE "EVALUATED". The idiots running or "not running" the country need to be "evaluated". She just could not sit and watch this ridiculousness anymore and not react to it. It's called "free speech". Good for her!!!!

    October 17, 2013 08:10 am at 8:10 am |
  8. kerfluffle

    Awesome. Perfectly sane.

    October 17, 2013 08:10 am at 8:10 am |
  9. Ben

    Freemasons is one word not two :) And don't worry, we're not trying to take over the world, we did that a long time ago...

    October 17, 2013 08:10 am at 8:10 am |
  10. Third Eagle of the Apocalypse.

    Religious nut.

    October 17, 2013 08:10 am at 8:10 am |
  11. Anonymous

    And shes right, this nation has never been a Christian nation. We only hide behind God and use God as being morally superior. We are a nation built with lies on a foundation of fraud. And in 2013 we are a cesspool.

    October 17, 2013 08:12 am at 8:12 am |
  12. Borderless

    How do you single out one crazy person in that room?

    October 17, 2013 08:13 am at 8:13 am |
  13. Carey

    She was just fed up with all the incompetence and happened to be right there to voice it!

    October 17, 2013 08:13 am at 8:13 am |
  14. Jean

    She speaks the truth. Examine what she said.

    October 17, 2013 08:13 am at 8:13 am |
  15. RDH

    That was probably the only truth spoken in there all year.

    October 17, 2013 08:14 am at 8:14 am |
  16. qazoo

    And shes right, we have never been a Christian nation. We only hide behind God and use God to pimp some moral superiority. We are a nation that was built with lies on a foundation of fraud. And in 2013 we are a cesspool.

    October 17, 2013 08:14 am at 8:14 am |
  17. Fur Ball

    Being the only one in that room with at least half a brain, who wouldn't expect the poor woman to finally lose it. It's the same as working in an insane asylum and wondering at the end of the day if you're not nuts too.

    October 17, 2013 08:15 am at 8:15 am |
  18. Wake up People!

    You know it's gotten bad in the House. The poor stenographer even snapped.

    October 17, 2013 08:15 am at 8:15 am |
  19. meltemi

    She makes as much sense as many of the other rants we hear on the house floor.

    October 17, 2013 08:16 am at 8:16 am |
  20. ibanezerscrooge

    It's a mad, mad, mad, mad, mad world.

    U.S. Congress: Literally driving people insane.

    October 17, 2013 08:17 am at 8:17 am |
  21. weezer

    Sounds like she just joined the T.Party.

    October 17, 2013 08:18 am at 8:18 am |
  22. FreeFromTheism

    Oh, I see, so her problem is that the US isn't a theocracy.
    Fantastic...

    October 17, 2013 08:18 am at 8:18 am |
  23. Dan

    Ya know, they stuffed all that god stuff in there to satisfy the hoi polloi. It's government; it is designed to keep a large population from tearing its self to shreds; everything else is secondary.

    October 17, 2013 08:18 am at 8:18 am |
  24. dadinalaska

    Honestly, she was probably really tired and needed a nap.

    October 17, 2013 08:18 am at 8:18 am |
  25. weezer

    Sounds like she just joined the T.P.

    October 17, 2013 08:18 am at 8:18 am |
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