October 17th, 2013
12:24 AM ET
9 years 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.

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"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. "fed" up

    To sat this country was not founded by "religious" people is ridiculous and a complete lie. More than half of the signers of the declaration of independence held seminary degrees. The first bible printed in this country was done so by congress and actually stamped as acceptable for teaching in within the school system. It is well documented, but widely ignored. Also, if what I believe is wrong, I will have no regrets and my family was much better off than when I didn't believe. If what you believe is wrong, may God have mercy on your soul.

    October 17, 2013 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  2. Sarah

    Very interesting. This country was founded on freedom of religion and she was quoting scripture. I am not a religious person but I find her statements eerie . Maybe those who call her crazy should listen.

    Seems to me many of our founding fathers said the same thing in the very same place.Crazy? I don't think so.

    October 17, 2013 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  3. Linda

    It is not uncommon to spew religious babble when having a psychotic break.

    What is really scary though is all the comments on here that agree with the sick woman's rant.

    October 17, 2013 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  4. coderjones

    god and politics

    the modern day slavery

    October 17, 2013 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  5. Listening

    There is truth to her rhetoric. Don't tune out everything all the time. There is truth because she is an insider. We are the outsiders and we should listen.

    October 17, 2013 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  6. Ed

    The scary thing about this episode is not that the woman had a breakdown moment, but the number of people who have written comments to the effect that she is some sort of prophet who was giving us all the real truth. I am just surprised she didn't start speaking in tongues or something.

    October 17, 2013 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  7. Wootings

    "she was transported to a local hospital for evaluation"

    That's nice for a change. If only we'd extend that same kind of care to all people afflicted by religion.

    October 17, 2013 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  8. Randyb12

    You people keep quoting bibilical scripture, but you ignore what Paul said in Romans 13: "Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established." So if your god put them in power to rule...and it is by his authority...Obamacare is the law and is sanctioned by God...but then again so was the Bush's war in Iraq, Reagan's Iran Contra, slavery, CIA toppling of governments like Guatamala. Your master has many faces.

    October 17, 2013 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  9. Padraig

    I agree with Dan, both parties have made a royal mess of the situation. It is a two law system. We have to live within our means but the government does not?

    I guess the strain was to much for her. Is she wrong, yes and no. She is correct in her history about who wrote the constitution which were the Free Masons. If you read the history of our nation, it was a rebellion to dispose a king as ruling party so others can put in their own people. Much like any other coup that has been successful. Look at our first Presidents they were all from the inner sanctum. During the Whiskey Rebellion (how many knew there was another rebellion) after our Revolutionary War, Henry Knox wrote a letter to President Washington and within it he commented who do those people think they are thinking they are equals to us. Those other people were the men who fought in the continental army and militia who were granted land in Western Pennslyvania and Ohio. There land was being taken away from them because they could not pay their taxes that the governmnent raised (sound familiar). The crops they grew did not pay enough, they made whiskey which interferred with the distillers like then President Washington. They were loosing profits and they could not have that. I am not a conspiarcy theorist just like and enjoy reading U.S. history.

    October 17, 2013 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  10. Betty

    Maybe she was reacting to what she was hearing on the floor. Things she can't repeat but words that show its a games that's going on among all our elected officals

    October 17, 2013 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  11. Vetala

    I think she needs a mental evaluation. In this day and age we need to stop clinging to fairy tales. Only the weakest of the species rely on crutches like religion, or the oldest that were brought up that way and never stopped to question all the obvious flaws and fallacies.

    October 17, 2013 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  12. Dominique Saunders

    I thought she was going to rant about how idiotic the Republicans were in shutting down the government over this bill. You know, something relevant and obvious. But no...she had to go spouting religious psycho-babble. If I had to be in that situation, having witnessed 16 days of that bull I'd snap too, but I wouldn't throw logic and reason out the window. Yeah, she's right that the House shouldn't be divided but did she need to quote Bible verses? Really? To me, it defeats whatever good points that she made during her rant.

    October 17, 2013 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  13. jd

    In order to be a mason you have to believe in God. She is crazy

    October 17, 2013 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  14. currency1896

    great show.........after all this week, we the people really need to change the name of "capital hill" to "nut bucket hill" and install a roller coaster, water slides and funnel cake maker !!!

    October 17, 2013 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  15. Smoore

    Religious whack jobs have no place in government, regardless of how "normal" or "respectable" they seem. There is a reason we have separation of church and state, and this is it. You want to go against government actions? I am totally in support of rational debates about why this bill or that funding source is not wise. Rational... meaning keep God out of it. God does not govern this country – men do. Sorry for your luck.

    October 17, 2013 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  16. SkepticalOne

    And like bedbugs after dark the religious zealots crawl out of the cracks.

    October 17, 2013 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  17. Joe

    "That's great! When are we going to lock up the other religious nutjobs in Washington? The day we start practicing the whole "Separation of Church and State", the better off this country will be."
    .And better
    .and better
    .and better
    and.... wait.......look at it now. ..

    October 17, 2013 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  18. Miller

    "That's great! When are we going to lock up the other religious nutjobs in Washington? The day we start practicing the whole "Separation of Church and State", the better off this country will be" . We are already there buddy .... But what I took from her rant was that she pointed out how hypocritical the government is now and tied that into the founding of this country. The principals that this country was founded on are not the same principals and values that have been put into practice by the government. Talks of Freedom and Justice for all spoken by men who were slave masters. So that same hypocritical nature and spirit still exists today. They say they represent or work for the american people but their actions show otherwise.

    October 17, 2013 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  19. Clark Bridge

    The woman had an emotional breakdown for unknown reasons. She is NOT a spokesperson for any group or religion. Don't try to make any more out of her outburst than that. Those of you who go to church on Sunday should not take church to the floor in congress. Those of you who are without God should not take your atheism to the floor of congress. SHUT UP !!!

    October 17, 2013 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  20. RDH

    Stupid intolerant christian teabag woman. We need to lock this crazy and the rest of her like away in a padded room with no human contact again ever because they don't believe what I believe. Don't they understand? We have a freaking mandate!!! There is only one God, Government, and Barak Hussein Obama is it's prophet! May his face be made to shine upon you and it go well with you! Amen.

    October 17, 2013 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  21. richbham

    Mental illness and its proper treatment is the issue here. Perhaps Congress and the states will see evidence up close and decide maybe we should fund this better - could this have anything to do with our problems with guns, prisons, and violence?

    October 17, 2013 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  22. Steven CaboWabo

    Funny how some people post their opinions here in a public forum while stating they don't want or like others to give an opinion on what they stated.

    October 17, 2013 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  23. Judith Giliomee

    The most sense I have heard coming out of America
    for years. She should run for president........... God bless her (and He will......)

    October 17, 2013 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  24. Rudy NYC


    @Craig, while I think this woman probably had a nervous breakdown, you might want to check the whole "Seperation of Church and State." this is not a law, it was an expression made by Thomas Jefferson. While the first amendment states no established state religion, it does not prohibit religious practice, anywhere.
    State sanctioned practice of religion is prohibited in public owned and operated buildings. The 1st Amendment defines freedom of religion for the people, and freedom from religion for the government. The founders wanted a secular state, purposely unlike the theocracitic government from which they were revolting.

    October 17, 2013 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  25. JC

    I've said over and over again that they are ALL nuts. A few are bound to get shaken off the tree from time to time.

    October 17, 2013 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
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