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. Ryan

    Read a history book. The country was founded on a principle of religious freedom, not on a belief in god.

    October 17, 2013 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  2. mistamista

    FINALLY, a person who can actually use Obamacare admitting by their actions that they really NEED an evaluation! I think that this is a sign that people are fed up. These guys should feel lucky as hell that she didn't have weapons clearances as some court officers (stenographers) do!

    October 17, 2013 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  3. dfnj

    Republicans have been Cruzified in the polls! Republicans are down to blood relatives and staffers in the poll. And now that they tried to cut staffers pay they've split the staffer vote! Don't get your caucus stuck in the door on the way out!

    October 17, 2013 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  4. Eric

    I think the Holy Spirit came upon her. Her words praised our Lord Jesus Christ to prove this. This is no mental health issue. Obviously, God is trying to say something.

    October 17, 2013 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  5. filo bedo

    I think anyone would snap too listening to these clowns all day!

    October 17, 2013 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  6. Bob from texas

    The woman will be given the opportunity for a psychiatric evaluation and hopefully this reveals something, gets treatment, and keeps her job.

    October 17, 2013 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  7. Robin

    What is really scary to me is most are mocking God, and that whatever took place the woman is an American and not a criminal, she was not amongst royalty, she is like all other Americans. Sick and tired of the games, the power play, pretense of looking out for their fellow Americans. This woman probably heard it all first hand, but yet we are judging her...she should speak when spoken too. I am outraged, they sent her to a hospital for evaluation. I think that would be a family matter. Why is it that those who dislike Religion or do not believe in God, want to spew their nasty comments loudly and be heard above all others...You are not Judged, why should those who Believe?

    October 17, 2013 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  8. Saddened

    This is truly sad. There have been many incidents and discussions lately about the severity of mental illness. It is difficult to look at many of the flip comments here. This woman sounds as though she suffered a breakdown. Instead of taking a gun and shooting at everyone in her path, she took the microphone. Hopefully, she is receiving the care she needs.

    October 17, 2013 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  9. HETEman

    For all the Atheist trollers that love to drone on about magic in the sky.... Isn't it more illogical that life somehow began because a bunch of chemicals collided together is a pool? If you know anything about science and biology then the notion that somehow life was created by chance then you too believe in a ridiculous notion. I prefer faith over your version of fiction.

    October 17, 2013 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  10. chieftrainer

    I find it rather amusing the comments from people saying she is mentally ill because of religion. These are some of the same people who believe that life suddenly appeared out of nothing by itself...sorry, I mean suddenly appeared from a pool of primordial slime.

    October 17, 2013 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  11. Anonymous

    What a horrible thing to say. Just because you do not believe in the Word of God does not mean that you are a know-it-all. I applaud this staffer for her bravery and courage against people like you, C.P.

    October 17, 2013 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  12. seth

    This woman IS NOT CRAZY; she is a child of God. God speaks through his children and those who do not believe in Him are quick to judge bc of fear, believing in what you can only see. God spoke THROUGH her; she is absolutely right – those men on that hill toyed with us, used us as pawns to get their childish views across the table, leaving people to suffer as we go on about our lives. WAKE UP and when someone tries to tell you to wake up don't turn around and call them mentally ill. Your mere attitudes towards this woman is sad, she did her duty as a child of God. Money, greed, lack of humility, compassion, things this country now prides itself on. United we stand, Divided we fall...open up a history book and look what happen to the Romans... But we will all have to answer to our maker one day. Job well done mam...

    October 17, 2013 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  13. David

    I like Danny's comments; except for one. This country wasn't founded. People already lived here when our forefathers got here. We just took it from them. If religious is a mental illness, than what was JESUS CHRIST and his disciples?

    October 17, 2013 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  14. Name

    So, this is what it sounds like when you totally lose it.

    October 17, 2013 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  15. bczu

    One nation under god was added to our pledge during the cold war. The Tripoli treaty clearly states we are not a religious nation. This woman is crazy and misinformed.

    October 17, 2013 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  16. Deesnutz

    Sounds like she needs to be committed, she went over the cliff in mental stability. Time to find a new person for the job.

    October 17, 2013 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  17. UglyTruth

    The socially accepted insanity of religion has too long influenced humanity.

    October 17, 2013 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  18. Hype

    I've never been the religious type of guy but I'm not dumb I know we didn't pop into this world and there nothing anyone can say to prove we did without assistance from somekind of higher power. So you fools keep thinking its funny mocking god. Keep thinking you have all the answers...keep being arrogant and ignorant lets see what you say when the crap hits the fan. Oh I'm sorry I guess I didn't take my med. You guys are fools

    October 17, 2013 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  19. Stefan Stackhouse

    Sanest person in that room, actually. That is not so much a comment about her, but rather about them about them.

    October 17, 2013 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  20. Barbara

    If she's stressed and spouting gibberish, who can blame her? This has been a stressful time for everyone.

    October 17, 2013 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  21. CB

    Sickened by some of the comments read in this post, you should be ashamed of yourselves for judging this lady speaking the truth of many American citizens. Being run by a government that seems to uphold our Lord and Savior, it only turns out that his name and will is being abused and manipulated to preserve cultural capital. There was nothing wrong in what she spoke and as a TAXPAYER, I would appreciate more truth approaching the podium than the manic dysfunction of our beloved tea party.

    October 17, 2013 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  22. Fat Sean

    Religion and spirituality are indicators of a sick mind. Voices in your head, talking to things that aren't there, complete belief in unsupported claims of eternal life and higher beings. SMH.

    October 17, 2013 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  23. Al-NY,NY


    Soon all of you will see.. We are entering the time of sorrows as Jesus Christ told us. This woman is not wrong God will not be mocked. The heathen think they can hide their plans from God but God sees and hears all. Do not be deceived, blinded by satan's tricks. Jesus Christ is the Way, the Truth and the Life. NO ONE gets to the Father our Creator the Great I AM but through him!! Seek Jesus Christ today!! Repent. Love, Pray, Repent and Forgive #LPRF Seek Jesus Christ before you no longer can!! Pray!! Read the Gospels..

    you make Tourquemada proud

    October 17, 2013 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  24. Joseph Atkinson

    They should give her a medal for having the guts to express the frustrations most Americans feel towards these representatives in the House. The Tea Party has been hostile to everything this government stands for and has ruined the Republican party.

    October 17, 2013 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  25. Bill

    Essential worker forced to work without pay?

    October 17, 2013 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
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