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. chris bronson

    If this woman had stood up in the middle of time square with a bullhorn and shouted the same thing would it have made the news at all? Her job did not involve running the government or expressing her feeling or beliefs, she took advantage of the situation and the news coverage she knew it would get.

    October 17, 2013 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  2. a veteran

    Separation of Church and State. Look it up.

    October 17, 2013 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  3. Priscilla Kramer

    Where were the Amens? Was there not a single true believer in Jesus Christ in the room? Woe to you who say "Lord, Lord" in private, but shrink into the shadows when asked to acknowledge Him in puplic! If you deny Him before men, HE WILL deny you before His Father which is in heaven. Is your eternal destiny worth less then your temporary comfort and pleasures? At least this woman is in good company. Jesus, John the baptist, Peter, Paul, and many others were all called "crazy" and arrested. Jesus died for your sins. God bless this woman for standing up for what she believes! Surely she shall be rewarded openly before the Father in heaven.

    October 17, 2013 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  4. Calcommuter

    She's a nutbag. She spouted nonsense about her God, JC and a house divided. Otherwise known as a Republican.

    October 17, 2013 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  5. Duder

    This is the k ind of thing you get when people are allowed to have totally insane beliefs but are considered normal as long as you say it's just your religion.

    If these people weren't foolishly enabled by society, and were instead viewed as disturbed and mentally ill when they make supernatural claim and say they get their values from an invisible magic 3rd party, they wouldn't flourish, band together, and hold back all of the progress we are capable of.

    October 17, 2013 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  6. QS

    "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."

    This is what religion does to people – even the well-known, perfectly nice, good colleagues!

    Of course most people will, as is the customary reaction in this country for some reason, dismiss this as just another "disturbed" person who "just snapped" without really bothering to look objectively at how religion consistently drives seemingly good people to the edge of insanity....and beyond.

    DON'T BE DECEIVED!

    October 17, 2013 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  7. gilgamesh

    She probably thought she was doing something good for everyone....When compared to congress, she is probably the only sane one!

    October 17, 2013 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  8. Scott

    Just your typical religious nut. Nothing to see here. Unfortunately, Congress seems to be full of people that are in similar mental states.

    October 17, 2013 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  9. omeany

    She's right.

    October 17, 2013 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  10. Raoul Duke, Jr.

    How is this any different from what Ted Cruz did several days ago for 21 hours, when he relied on Dr. Seuss, except that she's relying on the Bible, another book of fiction? And why wasn't he taken to a hospital for mental evaluation?

    October 17, 2013 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  11. Rick

    For the guy that said the country and the Bill of Rights wasn`t based on the bible I sugest he take a remedial American history class and also read , Isaiah, 33:22 !

    October 17, 2013 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  12. myrtlemaylee

    Now why should anyone be surprised that non-elected people working amidst that bunch would snap? I'd keep an eye on the rest of them, including the sergeant-at-arms. They've been driving the rest of America up the wall for years via TV sound bytes.

    October 17, 2013 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  13. TexDoc

    Sounds like a medical problem developed. High or low blood sugar can cause these kind of behavior changes, as well as more serious conditions, like stroke or tumor.

    October 17, 2013 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  14. normal reaction to abnormal conditions

    I would probably have a mental brekdown if I had to transcribe all the hot air coming out of our Congress over the past two weeks. Her reaction is completely normal. I get angry when I encounter stubborn left-lane drivers. Look what she went through! The shut down was a massive multi-vehicle pileup.

    October 17, 2013 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  15. Janet

    I'm just surprised that the Tea Baggers didn't start shouting, "Amen, sister" and then explain that the nation is going to hell because Obama "is a muslim". What a bunch of twits

    October 17, 2013 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  16. Anonymous

    Praise God this lady actually had the courage to pronounce and announce that Jesus is Lord and declare the truth. I guarantee nobody would be evaluated by doctors for voting yes to killing unborn babies or declaring that abortion is ok. Yes they were all surprised because someone actually had courage to defend truth.

    October 17, 2013 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  17. dalewalk

    She looked and sounded like the person most in control in that room, even though she was obviously out of her mind.

    October 17, 2013 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  18. Zank Frappa

    How come this women was sent to the psych ward, while Michele Bachman, who says even crazier and more paranoid things on a regular basis, was re-elected to congress and is a regular on the talk show circuit? We live in crazy times, people.

    October 17, 2013 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  19. Nick

    This is simple mental illness. She needs medical help, that's all. Comments on here confirm the stigma mental illness still faces. If she had broken her leg would people suggest her politics are the cause of that too? Guess no one here has ever seen actual mental illness up close.

    October 17, 2013 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  20. Keli

    Good for her. Someone needs to rant. I just wish it made sense. . .

    October 17, 2013 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  21. Victoria

    also, find the whole video on youtube. an older white haired man in a gray suit approaches her, engages her in conversation then nods and she gets up in a zombie like state and walks up to the podium. he then watches her walk up there, walks a few feet away from where he was standing, gets out his phone and when she begins to speak, he looks up as though surprised, gauges everyone else's reactions around him and when she's drug off the floor, he turns around to someone behind him and begins talking as in "haha that was weird". and that doesn't alarm you?

    October 17, 2013 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  22. gmenfan54

    This woman is not mentally ill. Congress is.

    October 17, 2013 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  23. server4

    Correction there were 435 nut jobs in that chamber last night.

    October 17, 2013 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  24. gmenfan54

    If they keep pulling people out of the chamber for unintelligible rants, the place will be empty!

    October 17, 2013 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  25. straighttalk

    She did not Snap! So now they blame a low paying Secretary for their inability to reach a compromise. This shows in one small way what kind of scums are in the Congress and the Senate. Disgusting how these low life people deal with honest and hard working citizens.

    October 17, 2013 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
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