October 17th, 2013
12:24 AM ET
11 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. Tom

    It is certainly easy to believe that working with Congress every day would drive someone crazy.

    October 17, 2013 08:34 am at 8:34 am |
  2. blowme

    Looks like somebody had a bit too much LSD on their cereal.

    October 17, 2013 08:35 am at 8:35 am |
  3. JT

    While not all religious people are insane, show me an insane person who isn't religious.

    October 17, 2013 08:35 am at 8:35 am |
  4. ncgh

    They still do live stenography on the House floor?

    October 17, 2013 08:36 am at 8:36 am |
  5. Z_nips

    These are the people we have running the House, huh?

    **Remembers to act surprised and aghast...**

    OH! Oh, I mean... *clears throat*... THESE are the people we have running the House!? Harrumph, I never would have imagined!

    October 17, 2013 08:36 am at 8:36 am |
  6. kevinc80

    A Jesus freak behaving badly. Wow, that's never happened before... What next? Miley Cyrus bahaving badly? A Kardashian getting a divorce?

    October 17, 2013 08:36 am at 8:36 am |
  7. ncgh

    Good thing the Capital Police didn't shoot her.

    October 17, 2013 08:36 am at 8:36 am |
  8. Repeat after me

    Crazy Christians, shout about God is part of the PROBLEM, not the solution.

    October 17, 2013 08:37 am at 8:37 am |
  9. Questions401

    Now it is time to start asking why these politicians were voting for default, there very well could be a religious cabal in the house actively trying to destroy the united states simply because they think god wants them to take down a country founded by free masons...

    October 17, 2013 08:38 am at 8:38 am |
  10. Bubba Jones

    "...went up behind the podium...". Folks, she did not go behind the podium, she went behind the lectern. A podium we stand on, a lectern we stand behind, next to. A lectern is sometimes placed on a podium.

    Also, what are the three ellipsis in the text for? Again the write of the article is grammar and punctuation challenged: Use three dots to show that you have omitted part of a quotation.

    October 17, 2013 08:39 am at 8:39 am |
  11. ANdy

    I'd snap too if I had to spend years dictating what politicians said

    October 17, 2013 08:40 am at 8:40 am |
  12. Here2Opine

    I'd go bonkers to if I worked w/ all those egotistical, spoiled, whiny politicians.

    October 17, 2013 08:40 am at 8:40 am |
  13. Robert Bear

    I don't get the point here. Someone was ranting insanely on the floor of the House. Isn't that the normal course of business?

    October 17, 2013 08:40 am at 8:40 am |
  14. John

    I feel for her. After working in such a stressful situation for so long anyone is bound to snap. Just another victim of Congress's BS.

    October 17, 2013 08:40 am at 8:40 am |
  15. ThereIsNoGod

    More psycho religious babble from yet another weak minded sheep. No wonder the US is such a daft country. People like this have no place in public office.

    October 17, 2013 08:42 am at 8:42 am |
  16. JC

    I hope she gets the help she needs.

    October 17, 2013 08:42 am at 8:42 am |
  17. John Harris

    Hmmm. That was an extremely bigoted rant. If she had been raving against Jews, she'd have "Been Resigned". If she'd used the word Muslims, there would be an official apology by The President. If she had singled out Catholics (then said she was only joking), her retirement would have been "part of a planned, orderly transition".

    It's time for everyone who has had a child treated at a Shriner's Hospital to stand up for us. It's time for recipients of our scholarships to remind the world that we are not a subversive group, nor are we just a group that is dedicated to one hand washing the other. We use our organization to do good works because we can accomplish more together than any one of us could as individuals. We Are Masons. We don't seek individual recognition. We undertake these works for the good they do instead of the glory they bring. We Are Freemasons. We accept men of good character who believe in a Single Perfect Creator, regardless of the Name by which we call Him. We are free to get more done in the absence of the friction of bigotry.

    The reason this country was founded was due to the existence of Freemasonry. Masons believe in democracy instead of a system of succession that has been Ordained By God, as the people of the time believed the monarchy to be. At that time, Democracy was a very disturbing and frightening concept to Monarchists. I will also point out that there are still countries that try to give the appearance of having a democratic government, but maintain a Supreme Ruler (Iran,North Korea). Incidentally, these democracies with dictators arrest, imprison and/or execute Freemasons because they spread dissent (they advocate democracy).

    One final point. Everybody knew her. She got taken to a hospital. If they hadn't known her, she'd have been Tazed and arrested. I guess there is one set of rules for the insiders and another set for the outsiders. She was the one complaining about Freemasons? She is now an insider who is escaping justice because of the group to which she belongs.

    October 17, 2013 08:42 am at 8:42 am |
  18. Rosa

    Fire her. I'm sure there are more stable people that can do this job.

    October 17, 2013 08:43 am at 8:43 am |
  19. Jersey Girl in GA

    well she's seen and heard and that's a very interesting take on things from the cheap seats.

    October 17, 2013 08:44 am at 8:44 am |
  20. Frank Rivera

    They should have taken Ted Cruz and his cronies also for evaluation.

    October 17, 2013 08:44 am at 8:44 am |
  21. skiharry

    No one is safe from the ranting lunatic behavior of some people. She must be Republican and was mad that they were voting against the path of the righteous.

    October 17, 2013 08:44 am at 8:44 am |
  22. elvis316

    There wasn't quite enough nutjob crazy bs that day, she needed to add a little to get it over the daily minimum requirement–but she probably overshot it a little.

    October 17, 2013 08:44 am at 8:44 am |
  23. Iggy

    Lunatic!

    October 17, 2013 08:45 am at 8:45 am |
  24. unretired05

    Something in the water?

    October 17, 2013 08:46 am at 8:46 am |
  25. Joe

    Sounds to me like she fits right in with the rest of the wackos that occupy that building. She made as much sense with her rant as do most of the bozos who are there to represent the American people.

    October 17, 2013 08:46 am at 8:46 am |
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