October 17th, 2013
12:24 AM ET
1 year 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. The Truth Hurts

    She may have been the most sane person in that chamber.

    October 17, 2013 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  2. stephen48739

    Poor kid. Stress brings out disease.

    October 17, 2013 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  3. Old_Hippie

    The Greatest (fictional) Story ever Told. What religion are you? I am a scientist. Oh, a Christian Scientist? No, just a scientist.

    October 17, 2013 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  4. Damian X

    The poor dear........she's been doping it for years....... I would have snapped after a few days listening to half of these jerks on capital hill !!!

    October 17, 2013 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  5. Burt

    I would call for a Mistrial HAHAHAHAAH.
    Time to loose your job, Oh thats right probably a Union person. Everything they did and do needs to be double check for accuracy. etc.

    October 17, 2013 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  6. Sussay

    I hope this poor woman just had a rare episode... poor thing...

    October 17, 2013 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  7. John

    Saying she needs a two week vacation sounds very bad but considering all the stuff in Washington I'm sure they could find it in their small hearts to fund a two week vacation to the destination of her choice. Right wrong or indifferent this is what stress mixed with fear mixed with politics looks like. In other words reason uno why most Americans don't bother paying attention to washington. Hope if nothing else she feels better in a couple days.

    October 17, 2013 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  8. Robert Gemerek

    I read another article that said she had worked for the government for 20 years....so it wasn't like she was a random person that broke in or anything, everyone that was there seemed to know her in some way.

    October 17, 2013 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  9. Rob-Texas

    I am suprised anyone in the House heard her, becuase they are all def!

    October 17, 2013 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  10. lean6

    Maybe if she had warmed up the crowd with a little Dr. Seuss first, they would have been more receptive.

    October 17, 2013 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  11. JK

    well, she's bat chit crazy just as anyone who believes or supports her nonsense

    October 17, 2013 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  12. lean6

    I hope this poor woman just had a rare episode... poor thing...

    @Sussay

    The truth is that many devoutly religious people are suppressing these kinds of emotions constantly. She just happened to be so close to the action, allowing herself to try to interpret real world events with religion. This is the kind of internal struggle people worry about when they hear Justice Scalia openly talking about the devil.

    October 17, 2013 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  13. Mack

    She was simply channeling the sentiments of the tea party. She must have felt quite cozy with all the tea party Republicans in the room.

    October 17, 2013 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  14. Steven

    Great, another religious nutter.

    October 17, 2013 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  15. Alarming, but...

    Yup, like the stressed-out woman on the plane recently–video of which went viral. Sad, unfortunate event, and ya gotta feel for the folks who were there.

    However, it didn't take long to realize that people are entirely misinterpreting what she's said, and *in a way* she's exactly right.

    What way? There's a tiny percentage of people in this country who own most of EVERYTHING. I mean 98% of every-darn-thing, one way or another. That's led to a "divided house" that "cannot stand." I'm no Marxist or socialist, but even *I* can see that this HAS to change, or the kettle's gonna boil.

    Another way? There's another not-so-tiny percentage of people in this country who are absolutely APOPLECTIC that one of THEM (a "person of color") has been elected President. Twice, to add insult to injury. These people are are so
    *consumed* with irrational hatred that they're capable of nearly *anything,* like, well, a cornered animal.

    That's the OTHER big, ugly, unspoken "division" that has forever haunted this country. It needs to be FACED, not ignored, and GOTTEN OVER. C-E-N-T-U-R-I-E-S of history seem not enough for these people to get OVER something, after seeing how it is ruining this great dream of a country and personally "staining" their own individual lives.

    DIVIDED COUNTRY, indeed.

    October 17, 2013 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  16. Frank Bacon

    An absolute nut case, but not as bad as the politicians.

    October 17, 2013 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  17. kbcarter

    She gets taken to a mental hospital for ranting religious zealotry while Michelle Bachman and her ilk get elected to Congress. What's wrong with this picture?

    October 17, 2013 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  18. seafoodwatch

    She is right. The people have to do some responsible voting and restore a certain level of moderacy in our government.

    October 17, 2013 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  19. senioreditor2

    She'll be a FOX news contributor next week..............

    October 17, 2013 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  20. konadreamer@gmail.com

    Ah, we see the true face of the Teanut Party!

    October 17, 2013 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  21. Just another crazy Christian

    THEY SHOULD ALL BE DESTROYED.

    said by that guy in the Jurassic Park movie.

    October 17, 2013 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  22. Just another crazy Christian

    Throw her in the looney bin.

    October 17, 2013 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  23. Amelia

    So many crazies....all ranting about something they know nothing about, just full of hot air and misinformation. Its called "brainwashed." And no, I don't have respect for brainwashed idiots who rant and rave like lunatics.

    October 17, 2013 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  24. brian

    Do church ladies have brains? Sometimes I wonder.

    October 17, 2013 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  25. Julius L. Williams

    She was the most sane and rational person in the room and had come to the point where she could no longer keep holding the truth in. Whether they like it or not, that crowd of hypocrites, liars and thieves needs to hear the truth, whether they will accept it or not!

    October 17, 2013 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
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