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. Dawn Kieballs

    Michelle Bachman is a stenographer?

    October 17, 2013 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  2. Zank Frappa

    Looks like the Tea Party just found their next candidate for a congressional seat.

    October 17, 2013 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  3. Lemon

    Was she offered a position as a Republican Congresswoman? She'll fit right in.

    October 17, 2013 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  4. SPGaran

    Her job as a stenographer listening to and typing every word every day finally took it's toll ... She just got sick of all the crap she sees there and finally spoke out ... Or ... She's a nut bag !!! ...

    October 17, 2013 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  5. Lord Toronaga

    She reminds me of the D.C. "Navy yard shooting" ER doctor....Janis Orlowski....Mrs. Raving Lunatic.

    October 17, 2013 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  6. Carol

    Another example of Pentecostal Religion gone extreme, because of the Extremists in the GOP.

    October 17, 2013 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  7. straighttalk

    The people who need serious medical help are the Senate and Congress members. They are sick!!!!

    October 17, 2013 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  8. Vishnoogle

    I'm not a believer in church but I'm a believer in God and I agree that she just couldn't take anymore of the selfish, selfcentered agendas being fought by most members of Congress (Left and right winged). I sit at home thinking our elected officials, Including Mr. B.O., don't have any concerns about the way their agendas hurt the American people b\c they are all set for life and don't need to subscribe to the legislation they are pushing on us. I'm sure she will be fine after a few days off.

    October 17, 2013 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  9. Loki

    Yup another crazy woman on the rampage...just like Dr. Janis Orlowski. The sky is falling !! The sky is falling !!!

    October 17, 2013 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  10. Silence DoGood

    @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 !"

    Even a casual browsing of history shows the founders were Christians of many types, Masons, deists, theists, philosophers, etc. The notion that this country was founded as your type of Christian only is an obvious myth. It is a country that is supposed to have FREEDOM of religion not Christian state religion.

    October 17, 2013 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  11. ron

    "she was transported to a local hospital for evaluation"
    That's were all tea party people need to go.

    October 17, 2013 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  12. coffeegrounded

    Why is anyone surprised? Imagine sitting in that room and having to type the absurdities, over and over and over, again. The stress took a toll upon her. Maybe Congress should take a good long look at this woman; millions of us American's have had to endure their nonsense, non-stop for over two weeks.

    I do hope this woman is receiving the help she needs. A rest and reprieve from the nonsense and the ability to resume her career without being ostracized, I hope will be afforded her. But wait, I'm hoping for too much. Sadly, she will be written off as a nut case and excused from public life.

    Look around, Congress, if you think this has been hard on you then it is time that you realize how it felt to the rest of America.

    October 17, 2013 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  13. blerg

    Another religious nut. She needs treatment for her mental illness.

    October 17, 2013 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  14. Nick

    One can tell this is a predominately liberal news site by all the hate towards Christianity. Liberals typically do not believe in anything other than themselves much less a higher power. Perhaps if she started spouting from the Koran there would be more religious 'tolerance...

    October 17, 2013 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  15. T Burton

    What she spoke is the truth it's written and clear your heads not all believers are republicans.....

    October 17, 2013 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  16. Darw1n

    Religious fundamentalists have no business in our government.

    October 17, 2013 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  17. ron

    Maybe she'll get a lot of money donated to her from the right wing nuts. haha

    October 17, 2013 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  18. capiers

    another religious nut. Religion seems to drive people insane and somehow they end up in politics. What happened to the separation of Church and State. Religion belongs in the home and church.

    October 17, 2013 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  19. capiers

    Religion seems to drive people insane and somehow they end up in politics. What happened to the separation of Church and State. Religion belongs in the home and church.

    October 17, 2013 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  20. Joseph Izaguirre

    Folks, are you not fed up with things? Religious or not, you have to question the efficacy and good of our system. We, The people need to be the system vs the apathetic life support of it. Thoughts?

    October 17, 2013 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  21. Latuf Tak

    I guess Cruz's rant made her bat guano crazy! In her defense, all the tea baggers – especially Bachman – do it practically every day in the chambers. Time to commit the entire teabagger clan.

    October 17, 2013 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  22. thor dies

    In my opinion, she spoke prophetically, and was quoting from the Bible's book of Mark 3:25.
    The Republican Congress is the achilles wing of the party, the senate is the achylles back, and we all need strong backs, Ted Cruz is the heel; together they'll all bring that party down.

    October 17, 2013 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  23. Marianita Luisa Guillen Kovacova

    I think , what this Woman to happen is to end the bickering between these two political party and reach with a common goal for the good of America and the American people . It is okay to disagree..... but it is in disagreeing that we come to agree !!!
    I'm sure she is feeling very distress !!! But it doesn't put her in a criteria of beeing insane !!! C'mon ..........

    October 17, 2013 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  24. capiers

    What was she ranting about exactly. What we just all went through has nothing to do with going against GOD.

    October 17, 2013 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  25. John Harris

    There are some strange responses to this matter. Many of the responses have centered around her alleged Republican party affiliation and a lot of imply Tea Party membership. Most of my Masonic Lodge brethren would probably consider themselves Republican and might even be Tea Party members. (We do not, by the way, discuss politics in Lodge. It's Divisive) I don't think any of them would claim her as one of their own.

    October 17, 2013 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
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