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. Me

    Well, she is right, but sounded nutz!

    October 17, 2013 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  2. Anonymous

    David M
    "the only sane person in the room.". Yes but she got lost on her way the Arthur Ashe Statium as in her cute tennis outfit.

    October 17, 2013 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  3. jamesrav

    Michelle Bachmann used to do this and became a Presidential frontrunner

    October 17, 2013 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  4. Sue

    Well, I agree with what she said but at the least she would sign
    something she won't step out of line again.

    October 17, 2013 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  5. glen

    Poor lady. She didn't hurt anyone and it is obvious she just had a temporary mental breakdown. She will be fine and good as new in no time.

    October 17, 2013 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  6. Seriously

    So now we add radicalized Christians to the threat list? Great. Need to find a nice quiet cave somewhere far, far from the madding crowd!

    October 17, 2013 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  7. phenoy

    The Holee Spirut of Jeebus came upon her and smacked her in the head...

    October 17, 2013 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  8. gahh

    She's exactly right, A house divided, can not stand!
    Bush divided this country, when he was in office, and now Tea Party Republicans in Congress, are trying to do the same thing!
    The so called Christian Conservative Tea Party Republicans are doing their best to divide the government, and watch it go under. That's why they call anybody, who talks to anybody outside of their party, a traitor! They talk cutting spending, when they just wasted 24 billion dollars, in their shutdown.

    October 17, 2013 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  9. patricia allen

    Of course she snapped. She works in an asylum!!!!

    October 17, 2013 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  10. Ace Dynamo

    Religious Zealots do not belong in government... not even at the bottom rung. Glad they kicked her and HER pretend god out of the room.

    October 17, 2013 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  11. patricia allen

    You'd snap if you worked in the same asylum she works in.

    October 17, 2013 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  12. Bheki

    Too bad that microphone was turned off.

    October 17, 2013 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  13. liberal hypocrite = redundancy

    i suppose there was only so many times she could've typed "blah blah blah" before she snapped. understandable.

    October 17, 2013 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  14. Dakota C.

    I could not agree more with the stenographer. This country has been divided since day one. George Washington even said that factions within our government would destroy it from the inside out. The tension in everyday life between republicans and democrats has gotten out of hand, and the only way to make things right is by working together. It's as simple as that.

    October 17, 2013 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  15. scootfl78

    Don't individuals who are described as "snapped" usually vote for these same GOP representatives that were unnerved and bewildered by her rant? They should stop being so critical against their base voters.

    October 17, 2013 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  16. SpgfldTom

    Luckily, she will get the meds she needs under ObamaCare. Oops, didn't congress exempt themselves from ObamaCare?

    October 17, 2013 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  17. chinaman03

    nah, she's alright. if it took her 16 days listening to those idiotic craps all day long, she has a pretty high tolerance level. i would snap in day 3.

    October 17, 2013 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  18. Solitairedog

    I have to agree with the other poster, Josh. Stenographers are not really needed are they? I mean, can't everything simply be recorded?

    October 17, 2013 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  19. JCD

    How come security didn't "wrestle her to to floor"?

    October 17, 2013 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  20. achepotle

    I think we need to start microchipping these kooks and monitoring their churches.

    October 17, 2013 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  21. hj

    i love how all the men run the other way and are afraid of her – chickens!

    October 17, 2013 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  22. joe Mauro

    we are a nation of neros ,fidding as our empire burns,its the end of political solutions as we knew it,we are crumbling,this outburst is the tip of the iceberg of the real insanity that is washington

    October 17, 2013 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  23. MrScott

    Being in the same room with a bunch of elected politicians for hours on end would make anyone crazy. Hope she makes a speedy recovery!

    October 17, 2013 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  24. Antero Colon

    She didn't snap, she prophesied.

    October 17, 2013 09:05 pm at 9:05 pm |
  25. A Typical Fed Employee

    Perhaps she is the first prophet. Look for the second one and then we can start counting the days.

    October 17, 2013 09:05 pm at 9:05 pm |
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