October 17th, 2013
12:24 AM ET
10 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. Joyful

    If she was allowed to continue, I'm sure she would had added from 2nd Chronicles 7:14 – "If my people, who are called by my name, whill humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from Heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal ther land."

    October 17, 2013 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  2. Charles

    I am disabled, and I am a veteran. I am very thankful that the Government is reopened. I am waiting for my military compension pension to come through. In fact I have been waiting patiently for about two years now living in abject poverty. The pension from job is only about $600 per month. God bless America even though I have so little I am grateful for my freedom!

    October 17, 2013 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  3. Piroko

    As a Quaker, I don't believe she snapped.

    October 17, 2013 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  4. Fred Evil

    "She is speaking truth from the Bible."
    If you accept the Bible as 'truth,' you have issues similar to hers.

    I feel for her. I'm sure she has the best insurance you can get, and she still snapped, publicly.
    We need more mental health awareness and assistance in this country.

    October 17, 2013 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  5. Breaking Point

    Poor woman. The past few weeks would make any ordinary citizen crack, not just a respectable govt employee.

    On the lighter side, perhaps Ted Cruz and his Tea Party ilk got under her skin.

    October 17, 2013 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  6. S-Hug

    The biggest threat to our country — or any country — are those who pretend to know God. Time to shun and do away with the religious eccentrics. The human race will not progress and solve its problems as long as the superstitious are allowed to have a voice.

    October 17, 2013 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  7. lunchbreaker

    As a federal employee, I know she had to take an oath to uphold the consti tution. She possibly fibbed a bit on that one.

    October 17, 2013 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  8. lunchbreaker

    #govtshutdownpickuplines

    October 17, 2013 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  9. If horses had Gods .. their Gods would be horses

    If she had a mental breakdown I can understand this.
    If she is of sound mind and did this .. that's where religion gets dangerous!

    October 17, 2013 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  10. guest

    Separation of church and state is NOT in the constitution, never has been. It was a misrepresented statement from a letter written from thomas jefferson.
    In English, the exact term is an offshoot of the phrase, "wall of separation between church and state", as written in Thomas Jefferson's letter to the Danbury Baptist Association in 1802. In that letter, referencing the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, Jefferson writes: "Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between Man & his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, & not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should 'make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,' thus building a wall of separation between Church and State." Jefferson reflected his frequent speaking theme that the government is not to interfere with religion and vice versa.[15]
    As far as this woman goes, from people that know her it sounds like this was out of character for her but that had enough of seeing the incompetence and failure of BOTH the House/Senate and the president for that matter to do their jobs, get along and get something done that benefits the American people, not just their political parties

    October 17, 2013 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  11. The Prince of Common Cents

    Now, I'll NEVER get a job as a stenographer...

    October 17, 2013 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  12. brandonreevey

    Need any more proof about how religion is a sickness and addiction, see above. And seriously, America is not a Christian nation. The framers PURPOSEFULLY separated government and religion. What do you think they were escaping from in Europe? Forced religion.

    October 17, 2013 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  13. Derrick Yu

    There must be something very wrong with the deal that got passed that she just snapped.

    October 17, 2013 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  14. cpc65

    Any non politician exposed to what goes on in there day in and day out is going to be driven insane sooner or later.

    October 17, 2013 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  15. Name

    Poor woman she was just tired and frustrated about the whole grandstanding by the republicans party, a lesson well learned.

    October 17, 2013 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  16. Jay

    Can we seriously stop with the Tea Party "BASHING!!!" For those who are so spiritual and keep referring to how GOD would like us to behave, YOU certainly are acting PETTY! The Tea Party did not cause this mess. Both sides created this along with the President. We the People need to stop attacking one another and seriously look at sending those who can represent US the People. Stop worring about what others may do and focus on what is actually taking place.

    October 17, 2013 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  17. daghstrydr

    I guess they could say another victim to "ObamaCare"!

    October 17, 2013 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  18. Anonymous

    Interesting how she was quoting the Bible and this country was founded on freedom of religion. Had she did this a hundred years ago she would have been considered a prophet!

    October 17, 2013 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  19. Deb

    This is mental illness. No different then if she suddenly suffered a physical illness. I hope she will get the help she needs and be back at work soon.

    October 17, 2013 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  20. kiki

    Would all the religous people here support her if she had called on Allah?" Or are just certain innapropriately timed outbursts protected?

    October 17, 2013 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  21. Strangways

    more Republican shennanegans – but sure, let's trust them with the WH in 2016...

    October 17, 2013 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  22. leedogg

    After having to put up with that congress, I dont blame her for finally snapping. Surprised more dont snap actually. Bet a security guard has been tempted to clean house a time or two.

    October 17, 2013 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  23. Mike G.

    I am a Freemason. We rule the world!!! Muhuhuhuhahaha!!!!!

    October 17, 2013 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  24. Angry

    I am so tired of others assuming ALL Christians are crazy because of our beliefs. I am proud to be a Christian and my country gives me the right to be one. This country was founded on "Freedom OF Religion" meaning that a state religion could not be forced upon us like the Church of England. It was never intended to be "Freedom FROM Religion." As such, I do not judge others on their religious beliefs or lack thereof. I wish the same courtesy could be extended to everyone. It is said that this is a country of tolerance but I don't see it being offered to Christians. People saying that we believe in the "big sky fairy" is insulting. If one chooses not to believe in God fine but my believing in God hurts no one. If at the end, as many propose, there is no afterlife, at least I have lived my life doing the best I can to be a good, caring, giving person. If at the end, the Christian afterlife does exist, then I will be happy to continue worshipping my God and thanking Him daily for all the blessings he has given me.

    October 17, 2013 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  25. CNNHatesFreeSpeech

    Sounds like she got possessed.

    October 17, 2013 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
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