October 17th, 2013
12:24 AM ET
6 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. Saul Teload

    Another grown adult who believes in magic. Once someone mentions jesus it's off to the looney bin.

    October 17, 2013 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  2. guest

    Science is cool and everything, but if we knew all the answers to all the mysteries of the cosmos, what would be the point of living?

    October 17, 2013 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  3. Steve

    Sad what happens to a person's mind on religion.

    October 17, 2013 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  4. FactCheck

    That this fruit loop snapped under pressure and gave voice to these rantings doesn't mean that the sentiments are not dear to the heart of the Republicans in the chamber. It is just so inconvenient that the Constitution was not actually written by Bible thumpers. But the alternative universe most of them inhabit admits re-writing inconvenient facts.

    How are we ever going to get to be another Greece, as the Tea Party claims, unless we start praising Zeus?

    October 17, 2013 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  5. rabrandon

    I'd probably snap too if I had to work with these morons every day.

    October 17, 2013 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  6. iIloveamerica

    So she gets evaluated for those comments yet someone at work tells me the devil is wrong with this place, tells me he will punch me in the face then tells a coworker he will poke her eyes out then laughs and I am told b/c he does not remember saying these things and the coworker says he is not serious (I do) I get moved from my position and he stays in his and no evaluation for him? Goes to show again the females get the shaft.

    October 17, 2013 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  7. BobC

    Unfortunately, sounds like a brain tumor.

    October 17, 2013 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  8. Laurie

    Geez! , after having to listen to all the hot air from the House the last two weeks, I might snap too.

    October 17, 2013 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  9. Thinker...

    It sounds like she had a breakdown of some sort. People don't just flip out and do something completely out of character for no reason. She probably should go see a doctor just in case something is wrong medically. I hope it was just stress though.

    October 17, 2013 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  10. Deb77

    Just a response after reading some of the comments on here: This IS a CHRISTIAN country, founded by CHRISTIANS. Look at your currency, it says "IN GOD WE TRUST." Don't like it? Go live somewhere else!
    Also, Just because people do "bad" things and then say it is to honor their "GOD" doesn't mean that is a true representation of their religion. Don't condemn a religion because of what man has done. Many people who claim to be Christian do not act accordingly as with ANY religion. (It is like saying Muslim people are all violent terrorists, come on people!)

    October 17, 2013 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  11. tony

    Another person in the House who thinks he/she somehow speaks for the rest of us, when the opposite is true. But still thinks some other more important power overrides u, in favor of their self righteous opinion.

    October 17, 2013 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  12. NameBeagle

    Sometimes I wish the sun would just explode.

    October 17, 2013 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  13. Aaronguitar

    God does not exist...when will the world wake up...that's a huge part of the problems right there. Really? People still believe in fairy-tales?

    October 17, 2013 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  14. DP

    Still not as cool as grabbing a beer off the serving cart and jumping out of a plane onto an emergency slide, but you make do with what's available.

    October 17, 2013 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  15. Namebranden

    Stfu with this god crap. It has nothing to do with anything!

    October 17, 2013 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  16. Arlington Way

    Thanks, CNN, for having the class to not post the identity of someone in obvious psychiatric distress. The stress of brinkmanship has hurt many in unseen ways.

    October 17, 2013 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  17. Aaronguitar

    God does not exist...when will the world wake up...that's a huge part of the problems right there. Really? People still believe in fairy-tales?

    October 17, 2013 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  18. tony

    Why can't politicains be criminally (and civily) responsible for lying? I think the 1st Amemendment has just become an excuse for corruption and needs to be fixed.

    October 17, 2013 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  19. ThinkAgain

    News flash: We're not a theocracy (see: First Amendment).
    Follow-up: H.R. 368 needs to be immediately recinded so that once again any member of the House can bring a vote to the floor. (The GOP changed the House rules right before the shutdown to not only guarantee it would happen, but that only the House Majority Leader – Eric Cantor – or his designee could bring the clean continuing resolution to a vote.

    Yes, that's right: The GOP guaranteed their crazy 20-30 member tea bag caucus could bring our nation to the economic brink.

    So much for "freedom" or "democracy."

    October 17, 2013 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  20. Sue in Ohio

    You're still operating at a lower level of awareness if you think that the Tea Party, etc., etc. is about religion. If you climb high enough on the mountain, you'll see that the real strings are pulled by money and power (money = power). Sorry to deceive you, "Christians." The lower levels of the far right are being manipulated royally. This is the same vulnerable crowd that used to dive blindly into "patriotic" wars of the self-serving. They are so using you!

    As someone who was reared to believe in a true, compassionate, all-welcoming God, I am truly clueless as to the current turn that so-called "Christianity" has taken. It has become one of the most mean-spirited, self-centered, clique-ish groups of humans I've ever seen. I can't even imagine the Christian Jesus teaching some of this stuff, such as everyone who hasn't been "saved" on a rotisserie in hell. How un-Christian, in the true sense of the word!

    October 17, 2013 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  21. Adom

    Now those who speak the truth are seen as crazy !

    October 17, 2013 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  22. Really.

    She's sick of the two-face "talk" in the Conservative House. Morality this and that, we the people this and that...and they are just hand-in-pocket fakes and she flipped. I don't buy the Jesus talk but she flipped and good for her. They should be scared.

    October 17, 2013 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  23. Dr Albert

    It's a clear case of Instantaneous Snaposis. Rarely seen in the western hemisphere. Brought on by stress. She needs to get out of Washington and lay on a beach somewhere hot.

    October 17, 2013 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  24. J in NJ

    @ 1-trupatriot "It was established that America will be a democracy" will you please point out where in the Declaration of Independence or Constitution the word democracy appears.

    October 17, 2013 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  25. rymaster23

    Religion is what is wrong with this world. It gives you compassion and enjoyment and makes you care for others. BS it does!!! It makes you do horrible acts of greed and hate. It makes you think lesser of others. Relligion is a veil that the brainwashed older people force onto the newly brainwashed younger generation. It's like the matrix, more people are finally taking the blue pill everyday and releasing themselves of this unfortunate creation. Acts of kindness and having good morals comes from within, not from the belief of some ancient story book that was written by lunatics, bible, quaran.

    October 17, 2013 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
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