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. David M

    The only sane person in the room, and they took her out. Go figure.

    October 17, 2013 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  2. Josh

    What on earth........ is a stenographer?.......

    October 17, 2013 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  3. dante

    the sign above the chamber's door should read "Abandon all hope, ye who enter here."

    October 17, 2013 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  4. Sniffit

    "She just may have been the only sane person in there."

    I might agree with "sanest." However, that's a bit like bragging about being the sanest person in the asylum, soooooo...yeah...

    October 17, 2013 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  5. Mark P

    The poor woman for some reason thought it was "talent night" and she was doing her Michele Bachmann impression.

    October 17, 2013 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  6. The Truth is the Light

    Although some may not agree with her, she is perfectly right.

    October 17, 2013 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  7. D

    Boy, that place is just chock full of loons, isn't it?

    October 17, 2013 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  8. rdeleys

    This is what religion does to people. It's tragic. Another mind wasted.

    October 17, 2013 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  9. Anonymous

    She's right. She got real and spoke what many americans *wished* they could say to them.

    October 17, 2013 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  10. My Own Private Idaho

    "And she actually went up behind the podium where the president speaks from." It's "from where the president speaks."

    October 17, 2013 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  11. rs

    Having to be in the same room with those disgusting politicians for all that time finally took it's toll.

    October 17, 2013 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  12. Nikki

    She is not crazy at all. For those of us who missed the history class, the United States was founded on the core principles of the Bible..."In God we trust". Remember that? When we start to seperate God and state, there is a problem. If you dont believe that a higher power is disgusted with us, I think you may be the one with a problem. Religion is not fanatical. God is REAL! The United States needs to fall on its knees and repent. If you dont like God or dont believe, find a country and build it on your beliefs. Stop forcing your gay rights, birth control, and abortion laws down our throats. The American people want GOD!

    October 17, 2013 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  13. asdrel

    "Abandon all hope, ye who enter here."

    That's a good one, but it isn't the ones who enter who are losing hope, it's those of us out here.

    October 17, 2013 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  14. MH

    To Josh

    A stenographer is a person who types a transcript, a record of everything that is said and who said it. They are used in court rooms, legal deposition hearings and many other places including the house and senate chambers. It is a secretarial job.

    October 17, 2013 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  15. Fish

    Apparently the stress was too much for this lady which was understandable just watching on TV was stressful as they kept adding pork to the bill before it finally past, having to be on the floor gives new meaning to the term exasperating!!! I hope she is alright these politicians should be held to account jus for the stress they impose on their staff not to mention our nation!!! Imagine how the Cancer patients felt when their Chemo was stopped because of this!!!

    October 17, 2013 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  16. Pete

    Was she stuck typing out Ted Cruz's 21 hour monologue? She may have to be put down. Very sad...

    October 17, 2013 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  17. cbp

    I hope that she gets the help she needs. How anyone can remain sand after listening to the members of this Congress is beyond me. The anger, the use of hateful speech, etc., would get to anyone. Some members cannot remain calm and try to get measures passed under a win-win proposition. Without some compromise and commitments by all parties nothing will be done. Members need to work together and understand that no one side will receive all the votes as we move forward.

    October 17, 2013 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  18. joan

    Where is the compassion for this poor woman? It seems to me she had a psychotic break. There's no reason to make fun of her or condemn her. We don't know anything about her other than what she did yesterday was out of character for her. Bash the politicians, but leave her alone.

    October 17, 2013 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  19. CJPA

    Is it any surprise she "snapped?" People were 'snappying" in their own homes all over the world! Being in the same room with all those idiots would send anybody over the edge . . .

    October 17, 2013 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  20. Magister

    So she got sick of all the b.s......what's so crazy about that? I mean Ted Cruz ranted against Obamacare for 32 hours then voted IN FAVOR OF IT and he still has a career..................

    October 17, 2013 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  21. E non-e mous

    She spoke the truth!!

    October 17, 2013 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  22. DocHollywood

    ".........In terms of an ongoing investigation or further action about the stenographer, Antrobus said no such action will be taken............."

    Hey Issa, there's something for you to investigate. Call some hearings. You should be well trained to investigate this, You know crazy first hand.

    October 17, 2013 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  23. Howard

    She"ll be the GO P nominee for vice president this time around.

    October 17, 2013 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  24. JOJO

    Underbelly of our government? Sounds like she is describing our Congress.

    October 17, 2013 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  25. Yay

    What a zany outburst – she would make a fine Tea Party candidate.

    October 17, 2013 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
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