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. just maria

    Funny how we're considered "loons" "nuts" "crazy" etc, as soon as we invoke the name of our Lord, or publicly call on Him....

    October 17, 2013 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  2. pitt04

    This is what extreme stress in the workplace does to a person.
    At least she wasn't carrying a gun.

    October 17, 2013 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  3. Freemason crusader

    Exactly, we cant' server two master, which is why we are getting rid of god.

    October 17, 2013 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  4. Maximus

    Whacko!

    October 17, 2013 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  5. Firebird

    Just goes to further prove how nuts the religious right really is. As one writted said, "just one more nut among many in that room".

    October 17, 2013 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  6. Hulamama51

    thankful that someone had the guts to stand up and say what is the truth ... sad part is ... she's being evaulated and the ones that have the real problem remained there to vote ... sad time for this country !

    October 17, 2013 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  7. Amanda

    This woman has lost it. I don't think this had anything to do with left or right. She is right up the middle crazy. This nation was founded by people fed up by England's view of what it meant to be "religious". She has every right to praise sweet baby jesus – but please do so quietly and away from everyone else.

    October 17, 2013 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  8. Name

    Nice to know some people still have the guts to speak for us GOD PLEASE BLESS THIS LADY

    October 17, 2013 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  9. Ruby

    Bipolar maybe? Went off meds?

    October 17, 2013 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  10. BriSoFla

    This wacko christian FREAK as her FREAKISH friends in the GOP Tea Party needs to STFU! I hope she lost her job.

    October 17, 2013 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  11. MEMAW

    She is right. A House divided cannot stand.

    October 17, 2013 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  12. nn

    We shouldn't blame this lady and we must wish her well. She detected and understood the politicians and their cronies' motivations. She unveiled several palpable truths that many will ignore and disregard. Additionally, the corporate media will tag her as an individual who lost her mind. Conversely, the spot light must be on the elected men and women in the Congress. These politicians have mastered the skill of deception. They look like a bunch of useless, unscrupulous, and corrupt individuals at the eyes of American people. In conclusion, We wish this lady the best.

    October 17, 2013 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  13. dsmrlfd

    The obstructionists and antagonists have stirred up those who were already on the edge psychologically and financially. We will be dealing with the repercussions of this great upheaval and political war for many years. Our representatives have blatantly shown their lack of ability to govern and their lack of sensitivity for the common American and those who need security desperately and certainty in life are in turmoil. Not everyone can take all of this with a grain of salt because they have been pushed over their limit by the threat to their existence. Let's vote another class of people into office, those who will attend to our business and to the people of this great Nation.

    October 17, 2013 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  14. DaveM

    The posts here speak to a general unawareness and ignorance regarding mental illness in the US. This unfortunate women obviously has a had a breakdown, possibly psychotic, that was likely induced by the long hours and stress of working in that environment. The really bizarre thing is that someone suffering from an acute episode of mental illness was making more sense than the vast majority of elected representatives in the house...

    October 17, 2013 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  15. Embarassed Caucasion

    The GOP are a group of hate mongers and nut jobs. They stand behind the Bible and patriotism spewing their hate and bigotry. This was never about anything more that "trying to put a black man in his place". Shame on the GOP and its followers. WE NEED TO VOTE THESE FOOLS OUT OF OFFICE. AMERICA...LAND OF THE FREE!!!!

    October 17, 2013 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  16. Separation of Church and State

    For everyone who is saying that what she did is "free speech", I think you need to look at the rules governing the House. Joe Citizen cannot simply walk in an walk up to the podium and start speaking, what she did is no different. This was in no way protected by the 1st Amendment

    October 17, 2013 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  17. Nick

    Isn't it funny? What happens in that chamber is 1000 more insane ... and occurs on a daily basis. And yet, somehow, she's the nut job.

    October 17, 2013 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  18. Howie

    Yet another religious nutcase showing true colors. Religious faith is a form of mental illness. Praise the founders for making this a secular nation so nuts like this can't run the show.

    October 17, 2013 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  19. ObiWanWotan

    "Understand that 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"

    It is a minority that wants gay marriage, and a minority that does not want the death sentence, etc., etc., etc.

    The 1% who have been gaining at the expense of 99% is also a minority getting what they want.

    Good luck with all your wishful thinking – in the end, it is survival of the fittest. Being stupid is not being fit. If 5 billion Klingons showed up tomorrow, this would be a Klingon nation within the hour. Might does not make right, but it gets what it wants, and a deceitful brain is mightier than clueless muscle. If the 2 billion Asians stop supporting a $3/lb price for copper and similar regarding other commodiities, the world's nations that produce commodities, including the USA, would suffer economically, and there is nothing the voters of the USA could do about it.

    October 17, 2013 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  20. enzo

    I wouldn't be BRAGGING if I were you DEMOCRAPS the country is waking up now to all your BAD WORKS.

    October 17, 2013 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  21. Tears of a clown

    And who will end up paying for her medical expenses & treatments and for the weeks or months of time off she will need from her job to recover, the government, the same one she & these nut cases Tea Baggers & Republicans complain about when it comes to big government. The government is always good enough for them when in need, but not for the rest of America.

    October 17, 2013 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  22. Soulcatcher

    Kind of like the Heavy Metal scene with the president going crazy. They sould check for a green glowing orb there.

    October 17, 2013 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  23. Debbie Hutton

    Just shows how well a nut can blend in with the House members.

    October 17, 2013 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  24. Andrew

    This lady is a hero in my book. Anyone who doesn't see what's going on is blinded by them.

    October 17, 2013 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  25. enzo

    She probably just got her OBAMIECARE bill.

    October 17, 2013 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44