Dianne Reidy, a long-time House stenographer, was removed from the chamber during a vote after she began shouting about Freemasonry and God.
During the vote to end the government shutdown and avoid the debt default, Reidy started yelling from the rostrum Wednesday just below where the House presiding officer–in this case, Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla.–sits. The microphone she was yelling into was off.
“He will not be mocked!” she yelled. “The greatest deception here is this is not one nation under God! It never was. Had it been, it would not have been! The Constitution would not have been written by Freemasons! You cannot serve two masters! You cannot serve two masters!”
Texas Democratic Rep. Joaquin Castro said she had a crazed look on her face.
“You have a lot of members who are concerned about who is allowed on the floor when something like that happens,” he said.
Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla., the presiding officer, banged the gavel to restore order several times, but did not deter Reidy, who screamed “You cannot serve two masters” as she was removed from the floor. Ros-Legtinen told Fox News that 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.’
As she was led into an elevator by security, she was heard to shout, “This is not one nation under God. It never was.”
She also screamed, “Praise be to God, Lord Jesus Christ.”
“I hammered to get control and hush her up,” Ros-Lehtinen said. “She said something about the devil. It was sudden, confusing and heartbreaking. She is normally a gentle soul.”
The outburst occurred while the House was voting on legislation ending the government shutdown and extending the federal debt limit.
Reidy was questioned by U.S. Capitol Police after her removal from the 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.
Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.) told the Washington Post that Reidy is a well-known and liked figure in the House.
“I think there’s a lot of sympathy, because something clearly happened there,” Connolly said.
Listen to the audio here