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. Michael

    She's my new favorite person

    October 17, 2013 02:35 am at 2:35 am |
  2. Name Angel

    Amen to her

    October 17, 2013 02:35 am at 2:35 am |
  3. Ebony Joy

    People handle stress in different ways.God bless her and heal her.

    October 17, 2013 02:36 am at 2:36 am |
  4. TheDeuce

    Actually, her rant makes more sense than 99% of the junk that comes out of that room otherwise...

    October 17, 2013 02:37 am at 2:37 am |
  5. Scott

    What is in the water over there? This poor woman has actually started to believe the crazy overheated rhetoric about the Affordable Care Act. It is not some nefarious plot. It is not of the devil. It is a way to get the uninsured some care. It is modest, common sense insurance reform like stopping carriers from discontinuing coverage with impunity if you get too expensive for them. Making insurers actually provide insurance should not be controversial. Can you see how all the lies about this act can destabilize the gullible? Stop it, you right wingers. Prove what you have to say with facts, not your nightmares. Really!

    October 17, 2013 02:42 am at 2:42 am |
  6. Jim Rome

    We don't have to worry about the Freemasons. We have to worry about the US defense budget which last year was $700 BILLION dollars and ruining our economy.

    October 17, 2013 02:43 am at 2:43 am |
  7. IRSmurf

    She sounds like some of the tea party leaders. Crazy. I hope a psychologist can help her.

    October 17, 2013 02:44 am at 2:44 am |
  8. Angela

    House Republicans don't realize how much they stressed Americans out with this BS. Just think this woman had to stand in the mist of it and record it. Probably too much for her. I completely understand. I felt sick after all this drama.

    October 17, 2013 02:45 am at 2:45 am |
  9. Lurker

    Talk about a meltdown. Congrats on making yourself look like a total religious looney. Of all the things you could say in that position too. Hmm, let see what this accomplished: you're probably going to lose your job (doubt many could say they had the privilege to even be up there), you're going to the looney bin more than likely, you're going to be ridiculed, and even if you recover, doubt many would trust you working for them even if you're vetted by a doctor. Good work, better start praying harder for yourself.

    October 17, 2013 02:45 am at 2:45 am |
  10. Oh

    She was transported to the local hospital? Sadly, there's no known cure for religion.

    October 17, 2013 02:48 am at 2:48 am |
  11. Kris

    She drank Jesus Juice for lunch?

    October 17, 2013 02:50 am at 2:50 am |
  12. niemand

    Not surprised.
    I'm pretty sure quite a few of us would go a little nuts and do a whole lot worse were we in there. Congress avoided being tarred and feathered by an angry mob by a few hours on this debt limit nonsense.

    October 17, 2013 02:50 am at 2:50 am |
  13. Anonymous

    They "knew' her? don't they still know her?

    October 17, 2013 02:51 am at 2:51 am |
  14. Eric J. Beck

    Oh my God. The woman on the plane, and now this one...These overly devout Christians are whipping themselves up to a certain madness I doubt Jesus would have approved. I mean, I understand why she, and many of us are freaking out. We handed our destinies to fools. And predictably, they have lead us to the edge of the abyss. Here's a prayer: Oh Lord, please don't let us fall off the edge!". And of course his response will be: "God helps those who help themselves." Because she is ultimately right, a house divided will fall. We have to come together and solve our problems, by finding local solutions in partnership with state and federal departments, from the National Guard to the Armed Forces, from city pot-hole repair to national freeways. This is what makes a strong United States of America. But we HAVE to get the money out politics, root out the profiteers and the carpet-baggers, and CERTAINLY the self-serving clowns like Cruz.

    October 17, 2013 02:53 am at 2:53 am |
  15. Sunshine100

    Snapped, overly stressed. But why? Was she working without pay (furloughed)? So many reasons that could have caused her to lose it... I hope she receives the help she needs.

    October 17, 2013 02:53 am at 2:53 am |
  16. mustangvoodoo1

    Whilst this woman will most likely lose her job (even though all agree she "was" the consummate professional and well respected) what has she really done other than stating what ALL of us think but are too timid to say with any zeal or conviction?

    October 17, 2013 02:56 am at 2:56 am |
  17. RayJacksonMS

    Typical christian nut. They really need to find a cure for the mental illness of religion.

    October 17, 2013 02:57 am at 2:57 am |
  18. flutterfli007

    Oh wow. This whole shutdown situation was either acutely stressful for her or it allowed the chance fora demon or alien pod to enter her body.

    October 17, 2013 03:00 am at 3:00 am |
  19. Justin

    Michelle Bachmann does the same thing and wins reelection...

    October 17, 2013 03:07 am at 3:07 am |
  20. Jocko Jackson

    Better to make a speech than to shoot the place up. Lock her up.

    October 17, 2013 03:10 am at 3:10 am |
  21. 60minuteman

    She must have drank the tea....

    October 17, 2013 03:15 am at 3:15 am |
  22. Ross

    Hopefully she hasn't gone teaparty GOP level mad and there's a way back for her.

    October 17, 2013 03:16 am at 3:16 am |
  23. Jon

    I'd like to believe this woman suddenly cracked.

    Part of me fears she suddenly cracked because she had no way else to make a statement.

    October 17, 2013 03:22 am at 3:22 am |
  24. Larry

    The Republicans are enough to drive anybody over the edge

    October 17, 2013 03:25 am at 3:25 am |
  25. Rick

    Congress drives everyone crazy!

    October 17, 2013 03:27 am at 3:27 am |
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