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. JFS3

    She finally worked around Congress enough to see that they all had sold their souls to the devil. No biggie.

    October 17, 2013 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  2. Karl

    This is another example of religious poison. Our government problems have nothing to do with supernatural forces to this ignorant woman's plight.

    We have a "First past the post" election system which MUST be changed. It forces itself into two parties, and any new comers harm challenging parties. Naturally, our government is split down the middle with Democrats and Republicans.

    We need to end Gerrymandering and First Past the Post electoral system (Spoiler Effect). Time to state the obvious and push for a new democratic system like Alternative voting. We clearly have reached the pinnacle of a divided country and its time to make solid root cause solutions not scream more about God.... hopefully the last of these bronze age deities will die in our lifetime.

    October 17, 2013 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  3. Rudy NYC


    @Rudy NYC, England was hardly a theocratic government. As a matter of fact, its the government ours is based on (Parliamentary). The difference was, the king was the head of the Church and could tell his citizens where they should worship. This is what the founding fathers wanted to guard against and ensure freedom to worship where and how you choose. They were not aiming for a secular society, but a balanced one where you are free to worship as you choose, and not at all if you so desire. People like you grossly misstate the facts to suit your own desires.
    When the head of state is also the head of the church, that makes the government a theocracy. Your own words prove it.

    October 17, 2013 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  4. anon

    Someone trying to make easy money....she will be interviewed by fox news i guess

    October 17, 2013 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  5. enzo

    She's addressing BOTH sides of Congress her comments were about BOTH HOUSE and SENATE.

    October 17, 2013 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  6. RT Colorado

    Well, taken in context...she might have been the only sane person in the room at the time.

    October 17, 2013 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  7. c-lo


    "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.

    Yeah, like 80% of the population...Sounds like Obamacare to me.

    October 17, 2013 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  8. Jack

    Nowhere in the Constitution or Declaration of Independence is the name Jesus mentioned. That aside, she obviously needs help. If I jumped up at my job and started ranting like her I'd probably lose my job, not necessarily for what I said but it would demonstrate how unstable I am. Religion is a private matter. It does not belong in the public square. Worship among those who believe the way you do. Don't invade my personal space with your beliefs.

    October 17, 2013 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  9. elr

    See, the conduct of congress is literally enough to make you go insane. Poor girl, having to witness that every day. It was just a matter of time.

    October 17, 2013 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  10. SFRich

    Maybe, just maybe, she's the one that makes that wacky coolaide they all seem to be drinking...

    October 17, 2013 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  11. Darren

    For all of you that will vote in 2016,,, pay attention to the fact that only 86 Repulicans voted to open our government!!!

    October 17, 2013 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  12. Eli

    To everyone angry because they think she's being treated differently because she is Christian: stop talking. Congress opens the day in prayer (which is offensive in case you didn't notice). It's not that she mentioned god. It's that she did something crazy. Saying and doing crazy things but putting god at the end of the sentence doesn't suddenly cure disease. She was sent for evaluation. She can't be forced to receive medical treatment without consent.

    October 17, 2013 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  13. Harman

    Christianity and Islam two faces of the same coin

    October 17, 2013 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  14. maria

    I think what this woman did was awesome she stood up for god an I thank her and shes telling the truth and GOD is the great I AM and may god bless her.

    October 17, 2013 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  15. Catherine

    It was only a matter of time. Just think, if they had transported everyone on the House floor that needed mental evaluation, they would have had to get about 20 buses.

    October 17, 2013 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  16. Mr Dalloway

    Oh now they are shocked, after all of the stupidity that had been going on prior to. These religious zealots tried to take down our government but have been slapped in the face and are now demoralized

    October 17, 2013 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  17. Rev. Rick

    A stenographer, eh? Well, if I had to sit all day and write down one lie after another, I'd go bonkers, too.

    October 17, 2013 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  18. cd

    "This is another example of religious poison." Maybe or maybe she just as a medical issue which caused her to snap like this because there are a number of things that can cause people to suddenly loose control like this and if such is the case here hopefully they can treat her for it.

    October 17, 2013 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  19. Rev. Rick

    A stenographer, eh? I guess if I had to sit all day and write down every line of BS that's said in congress, I'd go bon.kers, too! 🙂

    October 17, 2013 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  20. DNA

    You know, I don't agree with her religious sentiment, but the hypocrisy that we see all on that senate floor, day in and day out, is leading a lot of us to "snap" when trying to apply any thought process to what we call our government.

    October 17, 2013 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  21. muffintop

    Congress should be taken away.......and evaluated. They just love America, don't they? NOT!

    October 17, 2013 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  22. Rex

    Why is this post titled 'snaps', this is not someone that has snapped. Just someone that is letting it be known what is going on there. This post must have been brought on by the Dems. trying to make someone like this the bad guy and they are crazy.

    October 17, 2013 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  23. religious freaks

    God looks great....when in a straight jacket. Now you get all day to talk to him.

    October 17, 2013 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  24. Doris

    Well at least they didn't let her get to the point of spreading garlic everywhere to ward off vampires.

    October 17, 2013 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  25. gary

    Religious delusions make some people nuts. The sooner we end the ancient myths / delusions, the better.

    October 17, 2013 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
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