Outburst

10.17.13

Stenographer Starts Shouting During Debt Limit Vote

A House staff member started yelling about the Freemasons in the midst of a crucial vote in Congress, Ben Jacobs reports.

A stenographer climbed the dais of the House of Representatives and started ranting in the last minutes of the House vote to end the government shutdown.

The House stenographer, who has been identified by other outlets as Dianne Reidy, “had kind of a crazed look” in her eyes according to Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-TX) when she ascended the dais---just below Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) who was presiding over the House at the time---as the minutes ticked down in the crucial vote. The microphones in the chamber were off so that what she was saying was unintelligible on the floor and to viewers on C-SPAN.

Video screenshot

After Reidy was escorted out of the House chamber by several staffers from the House Sergeant at Arms office, she shouted  “He will not be mocked” referring, presumably to God. She went on to proclaim that the United States “was not one nation under God, had it been, the Constitution would not have been written by Freemasons. They go against God. You cannot serve two masters. Praise be to God. Lord Jesus Christ.” Her outburst visibly disturbed a number of members and staffers, including House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD) and Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX), both of whom ran out of the chamber after her. Reidy was eventually hustled into an elevator by staffers. 

Once the vote concluded, both reporters and congressmen seemed more eager to talk about this incident than the final tally. A number of members asked reporters what exactly Reidy was saying; they couldn't quite make out what was going on in the commotion. Reporters simply related what they had heard outside the chamber. Some congressmen shared their initial concerns that it was someone who had jumped down from the gallery, not a staff member who was actually allowed to be on the floor of the House.

There were few things that could have distracted both journalists and politicians on an historic night when a government shutdown ended, a possible default and the long vaunted Hastert Rule was violated by John Boehner. This was one of them.