October 17th, 2013
12:24 AM ET
9 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. marty in MA

    religious brainwashing

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

    The Tea Party just found their next rising star!

    October 17, 2013 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  3. scarf

    And she still made more sense than most of the members of the House.......

    October 17, 2013 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  4. Jessica Morales

    That woman is not crazy. She speaks truth.

    October 17, 2013 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  5. Larry

    I bet when they checked her purse they found a Tea Party membership card. If they didn't, she sure sounded like them.

    October 17, 2013 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  6. Heart Patient

    I'd go into a rant if I my employer made me work under such horrible conditions, with such people that don't do their jobs, all the time having to record their drivel. This lady has a great chance at a work place insanity plea!!

    October 17, 2013 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  7. smokeupdroid

    First of all, this is what religion does to people. It makes them crazy. Secondly, why do we still have stenographers? We have plenty of technology to record speech as well as video of everything going on in the room. Paying a person to sit there and type what can be recorded is a complete waste of money. That is an obsolete job, much like an elevator operator. Sorry crazy lady, we don't need you anymore.

    October 17, 2013 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  8. amy

    Bachmann and Santorum should likewise find themselves in padded cells for their own crazy religious outbursts.

    October 17, 2013 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  9. Wake up People!

    Some religious people do act like heretics but some non believers are just as bad. Why can't we respect others choices and not try to force your beliefs on others? I respect everyone, religious or not. But when it comes to extremists, I don't pay attention or even listen to either side.

    And yes, I was raised in the Methodist Church.

    October 17, 2013 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  10. Peter

    The endless waste of time, disregard for the well being of the people, the abuse of power, the disrespect for democracy, and the sheer pettiness in Washington is enough to make anyone snap.

    October 17, 2013 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  11. Slinky

    After having to sit through all the drivel spouted by Congressmen (on both sides) for the last few weeks, who can blame her for snapping>

    October 17, 2013 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  12. justaguy

    she spoke more truth than you know

    October 17, 2013 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  13. steve

    Sounds like she should have been a preacher instead! People will pay good money to hear you spout silly nonsense!

    Maybe its not too late for a career change... she is probably going to be facing unemployment after that stunt.

    October 17, 2013 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  14. btechno

    Who wouldn't go insane doing what she does? Imagine having to type out all the BS that takes place on that floor...

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

    "'I don't know, she just snapped,' said a GOP aide." – or she was one of the first to completely come to her senses. This has nothing to do with religion.

    October 17, 2013 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  16. All aboard the shutdown express....

    I don't know what happened to her but I can pray for her well being...

    October 17, 2013 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  17. Baalzabarber

    Palin in disguise no doubt

    October 17, 2013 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  18. dreswife

    she's not crazy, but to those that are not being Saved she should seem to be. Our government is so messed up, only God can fix it. She was speaking the truth. I suggest everyone watch and pray. AND begin to really question where our tax dollars are going. it certainly isn't back ito our country!

    October 17, 2013 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  19. Bookldy209

    Perhaps she was just typing too long and didn't have time to refill her meds.

    October 17, 2013 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  20. Fred8131

    They should have brought the entire congress in for mental evaluation.

    October 17, 2013 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  21. jamessavik

    you don't have to be crazy to work in congress but... apparently it helps.

    October 17, 2013 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  22. lornee

    Good luck to this lady. I hope she gets some counseling and a good rest.

    October 17, 2013 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  23. sammy750

    I am amazed more staff don't snap with the Republicans and Tea Party in control. I hope this woman is ok.

    October 17, 2013 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  24. Jillian

    Seriously this religion crap has got to go. She did nothing to improve intelligence or add to what has been going on. There were so, so many more important things she could have said and maybe even made a point. What a waste of air.

    October 17, 2013 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  25. Kaila

    Why do we need stenographers? A recording can't make two or more people stop talking at the same time; a stenographer can. A recording can't ask for repetition if there is a noise in the background; a stenographer can. A recording doesn't give you accurate real-time feed of what is being said; a stenographer can. What about the hard of hearing? How do you think the closed captions get on TV? What about that audio equipment that breaks down during a big trial and no one knows until it's too late? What if there is an objection to a question in court. Can an audio recording play that back in a timely fashion? A stenographer can. If you want quality verbatim recording of important proceedings, yes, we do need stenographers.

    October 17, 2013 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44