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. Brad

    Lol transported to a hospital? It's obvious what she's suffering from with that kind of talk...

    October 17, 2013 01:17 am at 1:17 am |
  2. Wear a bowie tie

    I sincerely hope this fine public servant receives proper care . Stenographers deserve a lot of respect , particularly one in that messy situation . I can't say I quite understand why their role in legal proceedings is still required though .Obviously there have been many decades of advancement in recording technology . Can any law school types tell us why their noble occupation has yet to go the way of the do-do?

    October 17, 2013 01:18 am at 1:18 am |
  3. Homer

    Actually, she really doesn't sound any more delusional than Nancy Pelosi so why send her to the hospital an leave Pelosi running free?

    October 17, 2013 01:19 am at 1:19 am |
  4. lean6

    This is where the economic well-being of the entire world repeatedly hangs in the balance. America is looking pretty unglued right about now. Bin Laden is still striking at the heart of America.

    October 17, 2013 01:19 am at 1:19 am |
  5. rick

    Wow, Ted Cruz has allies everywhere! What a guy!

    October 17, 2013 01:21 am at 1:21 am |
  6. BJRTexas

    Perhaps she was, in her unique say, simply expressing all the stored frustration that most Americans have felt during the recent ridiculous pantomine show provided by the Tea Party.

    October 17, 2013 01:22 am at 1:22 am |
  7. Vence

    Tea party spokeswoman.
    She just realize she lost and the country shall prevail.

    October 17, 2013 01:25 am at 1:25 am |
  8. Brandon

    What a nut! This is why many of the founding fathers were deists. This is the problem with religious zealots, they are actually the ones that "serve the wrong master" and forget to separate their church from their state. People like this should not be able to hold a position of importance. All organized religions are just garbage. All of them.

    October 17, 2013 01:27 am at 1:27 am |
  9. walter collins

    Please follow this story of the stenographer, embrace her bravery and frustration. Not sympathy but empathy need be a reporting interviewers approach. Most Representatives need not forget the hell they wrought on millions of U S citizens.

    October 17, 2013 01:28 am at 1:28 am |
  10. Another Voice

    Mental illness is not something to joke about, but I can't help the tiny voice in my head asking if the insanity of the House Tea Party members was contagious.

    October 17, 2013 01:28 am at 1:28 am |
  11. Bananarama

    They're all whack..Even the staff.

    October 17, 2013 01:29 am at 1:29 am |
  12. JOhn

    Correction she WAS well known, and she WAS the house stenographer. Looks like everyone will be going back to work except her Monday...

    October 17, 2013 01:30 am at 1:30 am |
  13. Patrick

    People will call her crazy. But she is right. It never was, we say it is now and we add in god we trust to our money. But we are not a Christian nation. And it was never meant to be one. Oh well, sad thing is people in the house have sad a lot crazier things and no one is taking them to the funny farm.

    October 17, 2013 01:31 am at 1:31 am |
  14. Bob

    Nooooooo! I hope she's OK, this could be some sort of chemical imbalance or something. It's also a pretty sweet job to lose.

    October 17, 2013 01:32 am at 1:32 am |
  15. dejavu65

    She was probably furloughed by the GOP......:)

    October 17, 2013 01:32 am at 1:32 am |
  16. tm

    Right out of "Paddy" Chayefsky's mind. In fact, she may be the sanest of all. Within
    eye shot of the overt and covert conversations in the House probably drove her
    off the cliff. Tomorrow, most of the members of Congress will take some time
    off to visit the National Zoo for some sanity time.

    October 17, 2013 01:32 am at 1:32 am |
  17. Dave Green

    *sigh* Welcome to the nut house! Enjoy your stay!

    October 17, 2013 01:32 am at 1:32 am |
  18. cassarit

    A people dares to speak up at the peoples1 congress!

    October 17, 2013 01:32 am at 1:32 am |
  19. just me

    Well, it was undoubtedly a long and stressful day. Wish her well.

    October 17, 2013 01:33 am at 1:33 am |
  20. Jubril

    All folks in Dc need to be taken to the hospital for "evaluation" because they all seem to have mental issues, shutting down the government for no reason. by the way

    Vote Hilary Clinton for President

    October 17, 2013 01:35 am at 1:35 am |
  21. C4LCNCPLS

    It must be pretty hard sitting in there watching the destruction of the country. Can't blame her for losing it.

    October 17, 2013 01:35 am at 1:35 am |
  22. Chris Harrison

    That much carpal tunnel from all that shorthand would make anyone snap.

    October 17, 2013 01:35 am at 1:35 am |
  23. navaJohn

    Man. Our government is in worse shape than I thought.

    October 17, 2013 01:36 am at 1:36 am |
  24. Drew

    I think if I'd lose it too if I worked for these self righteous, malcontent excuses for human beings.

    October 17, 2013 01:39 am at 1:39 am |
  25. Mary

    Ummm.... I think the time has come for a good smudging with sage and some sea salt being generously sprinkled about in the House chamber.

    October 17, 2013 01:39 am at 1:39 am |
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