October 17th, 2013
12:24 AM ET
11 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. Danlien

    Someones spiking the guhment coffee with P.C.P......Yea, that's it. That explains everything. At least that will be a link on the long chain that will be the G.O.P's excuses for their nonsense.

    October 17, 2013 06:14 am at 6:14 am |
  2. Dave

    Her pastor must be so proud.

    October 17, 2013 06:15 am at 6:15 am |
  3. DisabledVeteranin Texas

    Tea party member very upset about the vote, looks like

    October 17, 2013 06:17 am at 6:17 am |
  4. Jonas

    Throw the book, the John Locke book at her!

    October 17, 2013 06:17 am at 6:17 am |
  5. Frank Miller

    A HOUSE DIVIDED WILL FALL. I think she got that one right!

    October 17, 2013 06:20 am at 6:20 am |
  6. NJD

    Sounds like someone working long hours under a lot of stress losing it, having some kind of 'nervous breakdown' or 'anxiety attack'. Everyone has different levels of 'tolerance'. A stenographer's job can be 'challenging' enough but listening and transcribing for hours and hours the same 'inane' talking points and BS while the country is in crisis and friends and family in the area are not getting paid has gotta be tough for any intelligent person. Thankfully the ordeal is at rest for a little while. I would say they should give the poor woman a brief leave of absence, 'stress related sick leave' and then she should probably be all right. I hope the members of Congress have enough empathy to see things this way...

    October 17, 2013 06:20 am at 6:20 am |
  7. GonzoG

    I think working for Congress would drive anybody off thier nut.

    October 17, 2013 06:26 am at 6:26 am |
  8. Padric2

    While her choice of subject drew upon her own personal and religious convictions I believe that her rant was understandable. She's had to witness first hand the nonsense that Congress has dragged this country through.

    October 17, 2013 06:27 am at 6:27 am |
  9. Moses

    Fire her ass and get her out of there. Of course, she's no more nuts than the house members she serves.

    October 17, 2013 06:29 am at 6:29 am |
  10. Greg

    Congress broke her brain 0_0

    October 17, 2013 06:29 am at 6:29 am |
  11. Marie MD

    I feel for this woman. I hope she gets all the help she needs.
    Can you just imagine for one second what it is to sit in the House taking notes from the crazies? I don't which side of the aisle she is on but what was going on in our government thanks to the domestic terrorists was very scary.

    October 17, 2013 06:32 am at 6:32 am |
  12. Navyvet8192

    The nonsense with the House has made us all alittle crazy these past few weeks. I hope our representatives take note that if this hapened with someone there and working, just think what is going through the minds of the hundreds of thousands furloughed, and others equally impacted employees and their family members. Playing games with our countries stability and financial future has far reaching consequences, physical, emotional and psychological.

    October 17, 2013 06:33 am at 6:33 am |
  13. Dan Zappala

    Why does this woman need to be evaluated? She is exactly right and all the boobs running and ruining our country should be evaluated. We need to get back our roots which derive from God and if u don't think so–go somewhere where they believe as u do. More people like her need to stand up and say what really needs to be said to stop this diluting(weakening) of this country.

    October 17, 2013 06:34 am at 6:34 am |
  14. Jason

    One of the few voices of sanity on the House floor, too bad they wouldn't let her speak more!

    October 17, 2013 06:37 am at 6:37 am |
  15. NATHAN WIMBERLY

    She was not the only Guns Over People tea potty member whose head exploded. They are popping nationwide. November 6 all over again.

    October 17, 2013 06:39 am at 6:39 am |
  16. Alan S.

    She didn't snap, she was the only person in Congress to say the Truth most likely on deaf ears as those of the Republicans and the Tea Party Extremists who are more concern with their image and political ideology than with the American people they represent.

    October 17, 2013 06:39 am at 6:39 am |
  17. greetingsfromyonkers

    I hope the evaluation of this woman includes an ivestigation of job-related stress. Many of us have rant-worthy moments at work, but we manage to keep a lid on them. The handful of outbursts I've witnessed at work all seemed to come from people who were tremendously overburdened and just couldn't handle it.

    October 17, 2013 06:44 am at 6:44 am |
  18. Dave

    A house divided was quoted by Lincoln from the Bible:
    Mark 3:25
    New King James Version (NKJV)
    25 And if a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand.

    October 17, 2013 06:45 am at 6:45 am |
  19. Steve from NH

    What do they expect from a worker in an insane asylum? The poor lady was only channeling Michele Bachmann and all the other Tea Party wingnuts. She probably hasn't been paid in two weeks either.

    October 17, 2013 06:46 am at 6:46 am |
  20. Candice Brasington

    Hospital for evaluation? Really??? I am not a religious person...but last I checked we had free speech in this country...religious or not...so now if you secure your right to free speech and that happens to be a short religious, monologue you are sent to a hospital for evaluation? What about all those stinking politicians who thought it was best to shutdown the country and said so...I don't see them being sent to hospitals as they should be!

    October 17, 2013 06:48 am at 6:48 am |
  21. ADexpat

    Shes been privy to all the ridiculousness that's been going on for who knows how long. No wonder she got fed up. Im more surprised that someone thought she needed to be evaluated because she spoke about her religious beliefs. THAT is the only crazy part I see here.

    October 17, 2013 06:50 am at 6:50 am |
  22. David

    She's a mental case...

    October 17, 2013 06:50 am at 6:50 am |
  23. Oneforall777

    She's right – God will not be mocked. She didn't snap, she finally told the truth amid a house full of lies. Constitution written by Free Masons....this lady knows her stuff.

    October 17, 2013 06:51 am at 6:51 am |
  24. McDoud

    Doesn't look like anyone noticed. They looked pretty busy. Just blowing off steam after two weeks of high stress. Someone give that lady a vacation. Lord knows, we all could use a break from congress fighting.

    October 17, 2013 06:51 am at 6:51 am |
  25. Jebbb

    Sounds like Michelle Bachmann, Hope she gets better soon. Working in the House at this time must be a mind bender.

    October 17, 2013 06:52 am at 6:52 am |
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