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. Dr. Z

    Had she screamed Allah instead of Jesus this would be a much bigger story. This nation isn't, never was, and never should be a christian nation.
    "Religions are all alike – founded upon fables and mythologies." – Thomas Jefferson
    "The divinity of Jesus is made a convenient cover for absurdity." – John Adams
    "Lighthouses are more helpful than churches." – Benjamin Franklin

    October 17, 2013 08:18 am at 8:18 am |
  2. Gary

    all I can say is wow .. she needs to stay away from the History Channel

    October 17, 2013 08:20 am at 8:20 am |
  3. Joe B

    Of course the hypocrites on both sides of the political isle don't understand what was being said and are thinking that she "snapped". Is this one nation under God or one nation under money and power? The actions of the last 2 1/2 weeks reveal more more of the latter.

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

    Glad they had someone back there using the gavel and screaming "order" because it sure made everything better.

    October 17, 2013 08:23 am at 8:23 am |
  5. ThatsWhack

    What a crackpot – or rather a "cracked pot." She probably dreamed for years she would finally get to tell the government off in a grand preachy way: "First, I need to become the best stenographer history has ever known....yes, that will be the plan... then the government will have no better stenographer to hire, than me! There, I shall gain their trust, as I record the Nation's lawmaking process. Ah, yes, I'll descend into their den of evil and – on one specially chosen day – I shall pounce on all in that den and forever change the course of the USA!!!! whoohoooo!"

    October 17, 2013 08:23 am at 8:23 am |
  6. Brenda

    That's kind of sad. I almost feel like this article is making fun of her.

    October 17, 2013 08:23 am at 8:23 am |
  7. ArthurP

    Next time she will probably take her legally acquired fire arm and rapture the whole place.

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

    Save us Jesus.

    News flash!!! He doesnt exist or he doesn't care.

    October 17, 2013 08:25 am at 8:25 am |
  9. Questions401

    Sounds like someone is upset that the country did not go into default, a christian religious nut trying to destroy the united states because she thinks god some how wants that...

    October 17, 2013 08:26 am at 8:26 am |
  10. Lahar

    It's funny cause God isn't real.

    October 17, 2013 08:27 am at 8:27 am |
  11. Little Billy Thompson

    They just continue to make the rest of themselves look bad. This is proof of the religious nonsense that exists in our system. We need to get rid of it. If you can't keep it at home..you don't need to be a public servant.

    October 17, 2013 08:27 am at 8:27 am |
  12. K Duvall

    Religious nuts. That's part of the problem in this country.

    October 17, 2013 08:28 am at 8:28 am |
  13. MasterBlaster

    At least somebody in the congressional chamber knows they (Congress) are keeping the gold & giving The People (thats us) the shaft! I'm glad we have/had a federal employee who CARES what's up. If she's a Tennessean, I'd vote for her over Lamar Alexander any second of the day! We need LEADERS like her not CHEATERS like the rest of congress is......
    NEXT ELECTION DO THE RIGHT THING;
    VOTE THEM ALL OUT!
    Help God (insert your Deity) save America!

    October 17, 2013 08:29 am at 8:29 am |
  14. Michael in Boston

    It's sad, but I'm happy the House got to see first hand how crazy they have driven many of us these past 2 weeks!

    October 17, 2013 08:29 am at 8:29 am |
  15. Bernard Profitendieu

    let her go sing Amazing Grace to herself in a strait jacket in a padded cell for a few days

    October 17, 2013 08:29 am at 8:29 am |
  16. abby1

    Unfortunately, we have a lot of people with mental problems in this country. For some reason, this government shutdown has seemed to bring a lot of them out into the open and to Washington DC.

    October 17, 2013 08:30 am at 8:30 am |
  17. chewmyBoehnerTP

    Another Tparty victim.

    October 17, 2013 08:30 am at 8:30 am |
  18. Johno54

    It truly is sad to witness moments like this, when what is said is so true but for the wrong reasons. Yes for those of us who are Christians, God will not be mocked, yet He is being mocked. He is mocked by men and women who in His name have caused so much harm, pain and suffering. Who have twisted His word after corrupting it through the ages. God has been mocked because we used the blood stained banner of His Son Jesus Christ as the standard for evil predicating suffering in His name.
    This has not been about stupidity, innocence and ignorance but a concerted effort to make God's word a profanity, an element of corruption, chaos and evil. This is about minions of evil who like when Jesus was slaughtered on the cross and He spoke to His father and said, "forgive them Lord for they know not what they do" because He understood in that moment that they were just being used as pawns by evil to murder Him.
    We avail ourselves of Heaven's amenities too often to do the devil's work through our own stupidity, ignorance, arrogance and innocence, and forget that it is only God that forgives. The devil never forgives and any one who fails him die. The wages of sin is death but by whose hand? God's hand or the devils hand.
    God is a creator. What is the devil, and what was the end game here saving a few souls or making life easier for our children yet unborn?
    So many souls have had to suffer needlessly during this time of desperation, urgency and exigency, yet this tool that we call money a facility of our own concoction is being made currency for not only our daily lives but the means by which we achieve heavenly goals? The devil always is in the detail because he cannot do his work openly and objectively he has to come upon you like a predator and the greatest example of predatory is the snake. (don't tread on me)

    October 17, 2013 08:31 am at 8:31 am |
  19. Thinkergal

    Sounds as though she has been drinking "tea".

    October 17, 2013 08:31 am at 8:31 am |
  20. Toltec1

    It's amazing more people are not "snapping" in this country. We are constantly bombarded by what Frank Zappa called "Cosmic Debris" coming at us from all directions, TV, radio,computer, billboards. Did I miss anything? Probably. I think all of us are influenced to a certain extent. How could we not be? If we are already weakened, then we are more suseptible to this jive. I imagine this poor woman was alreay stressed by her job and perhaps suscribed to some quirky Christian radio or T.V. personality that preached this theme. Or maybe she had just wached an episode on the History channel about the Free Masons. I expect more of the same. I hope and pray I will not be one. Peace

    October 17, 2013 08:31 am at 8:31 am |
  21. Hohumm

    Another of the Christian Right.

    October 17, 2013 08:31 am at 8:31 am |
  22. Thunder

    This woman did not snap, she knew exactly what she was talking. The republicans are serving to masters, that is God and Mammon.

    October 17, 2013 08:32 am at 8:32 am |
  23. Deirdre

    Yep, nothing crazy about neoconservatives. Nothing at all...

    October 17, 2013 08:33 am at 8:33 am |
  24. Tom M

    A wasted opportunity. If you're going to pull a stunt like that, have your speach prepared ahead of time. I'm sure she had something interesting to say, but didnt get it out.

    October 17, 2013 08:33 am at 8:33 am |
  25. nagrad

    Wanna bet that if she'd said "Allah" instead of God she'd be on her way to Gitmo by now?

    October 17, 2013 08:34 am at 8:34 am |
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