October 17th, 2013
12:24 AM ET
12 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. Loggan44

    This woman obviously had a break down and freaked out. Pure and simple.

    October 17, 2013 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  2. gnomepark

    I think if anyone of us worked in that dysfunctional building for any extended period of time, would get the urge to yell out "WTF"! I'm sure it is a stressful job typing every word our representatives spew from their mouth. What she said doesn't matter...I'd probably start singing the Loony Tunes theme song.....That's all folks!

    October 17, 2013 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  3. mookow44

    Ranting about Free Masons and Jesus Christ in Congress? Sounds like a Tea Partier...

    October 17, 2013 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  4. hiruu

    I don't know what the GOP are complaining about...this is the kind of nutjob that supports them, all the time. This woman is just part of the unspoken majority of rightwing Christians who are not much different from Islamic extremists...don't be fooled by them not using too much violence...remember that they already control a lot already. They are feeling threaten now, by true secular society, which is why more of them, everyday for blowing up like this!

    October 17, 2013 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  5. JOSH

    Can you blame her for going nuts after having to listen to the tea partiers all day

    October 17, 2013 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  6. ranlo

    If what she is reported saying, is true? Then I agree with her! Of coarse, they will label her mentally ill.
    Maria, your right "God is the great I AM!"
    As for Harman.....The difference between Christianity and Radical Islam, is she 'walked up to the podium' not 'BLEW THE PODIUM UP!'

    October 17, 2013 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  7. Disabled Vet

    She's creepy.

    October 17, 2013 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  8. wb

    The repubs are divided. The dems are not.

    October 17, 2013 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  9. JimmyGraham

    Folks,if the absurdity from those in Congress had lasted one day longer,millions would have flipped out..

    October 17, 2013 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  10. deMolay

    Those gosh-darned Freemasons, always getting into everything.

    October 17, 2013 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  11. MDaniels

    I've really had it with religious idiots. Enough.

    October 17, 2013 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  12. a_famous_brony

    We need to require medication for individuals diagnosed with psychosis or bi-polar.
    This is coming from someone who has bi-polar.

    October 17, 2013 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  13. Mymy

    and if she happened to be Muslim and was using the name Allah, the tea party and Christians would be calling for her to be charged as a terrorist.

    October 17, 2013 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  14. Matthew

    If I had to work around the members of either chamber of Congress, I'd probably snap and start ranting too.

    October 17, 2013 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  15. Richard

    What happens to people's mental state when they realize their governments are the largest employers in the U.S. and they generate NO income?

    October 17, 2013 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  16. Aaron

    Everyone take a chill pill. She obviously had a mental breakdown- every interviewed said this was out of character for her. Hopefully she gets the medical help she needs to stabilize herself.

    October 17, 2013 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  17. Obama has to go

    I hope this woman isn't allowed to own firearms.

    October 17, 2013 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  18. Guest

    This sounds like a possible stroke.

    October 17, 2013 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  19. jj

    Another Tea Party nut case. I'm sure she expected to be taken up in the Rapture rather than have the House restore some order to the government.

    October 17, 2013 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  20. arch

    Who wouldn't snap after being around those idiots! She has heard all the lies and deceitfulness from this bimbos! She couldn't take it anymore and let them know what she thought. They better not fire her for this. What they need to do is help her get the help she needs!

    October 17, 2013 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  21. ptmom02

    I hope she's a fired person. What a nut!

    October 17, 2013 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  22. Colleen Raney

    Did you see all the heads turn as she said "Freemasons..." ?

    October 17, 2013 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  23. DJC88

    Nothing she said was a lie. Clearly, she has no business being on the House floor.

    October 17, 2013 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  24. Doorstop

    The crazy escorting the sane out. Typical for Washington. This country's going down, and you all voted for it. She's right.

    October 17, 2013 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  25. ptmom02

    Demonic possession. Yep, that's it.

    October 17, 2013 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
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