Stenographer snaps during House vote, rails against Freemasons
The woman, identified as Dianna Reidy, an official reporter with
the Office of the Clerk, stunned House members when she took the
Speaker’s Chair while the vote was in progress and said,
“Praise be to God Jesus Christ.”
"He will not be mocked. He will not be mocked. Don't touch me. He will not be mocked," the stenographer continued as she was led away by security officers. "The greatest deception here is not 'one nation under God.' It never was. Had it been, it would not have been."
She continued, "The Constitution would not have been written by Freemasons. They go against God. You cannot serve two masters.”
According to Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, the presiding officer at the voting, Reidy "came up to the podium area beneath where I was standing and asked me if the microphones were on. I said that I didn't know. I assumed that perhaps I was chatting too much to the helpful parliamentarians around me. Then she suddenly faced the front and said words like 'Thus spoke the Lord.' And, 'This is not the Lord's work,’” Ros-Lehtinen said, as quoted by Fox News.
Ros-Lehtinen banged the gavel and called ‘order’ several times, but that did not stop Reidy from continuing with her monologue.
"I hammered to get control and hush her up,” the presiding officer explained. “She said something about the devil. It was sudden, confusing and heartbreaking. She is normally a gentle soul."
Reidy was questioned by US Capitol Police after her removal from the House floor and was later taken to a local hospital for a mental health evaluation. It was not immediately clear whether criminal charges would be filed.
US Rep. Joaquin Castro, D-Texas, said the woman had a crazed look on her face, AP reported.
The disruption marked the latest incident to roil Washington as nerves seemed frayed over the partial government shutdown and Thursday's looming debt ceiling deadline.
On October 3, day three of the first US government shutdown in 17 years, Washington police shot and killed Miriam Carey, 34, who attempted to breach a barrier at the White House with her car, sparking a high-speed chase that ended fatally at the US Capitol building.
Later, American truckers threatened to encircle Washington for a three-day protest against the government dubbed ‘Ride for the Constitution’. Although the event attracted media attention, the protest turned out to be more smoke than fire as few truckers made it to the US capital.
On Wednesday night, by a vote of 285 to 144, the US House of Representatives passed legislation to raise the debt ceiling until February next year. President Barack Obama pledged to sign the bill and reopen government agencies affected by the shutdown "immediately."