A stenographer from the House of Representatives was forcibly removed from the floor Wednesday evening during the vote to end the partial government shutdown and raise the debt ceiling after an odd outburst.
Dianne Reidy, 48, made her way to the Speaker’s Chair while the vote was taking place, “ranting about God, Free Masons and the inability of the nation to serve two members,” The Washington Times reports.
“Praise be to God,” she said. “He will not be mocked, He will not be mocked. Don’t touch me. He will not be mocked.”
She was also heard saying in an audio recording: “The greatest deception here is 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. They go against God. You cannot serve two masters. You cannot serve two masters. Praise be to God, the Lord Jesus Christ. Praise forever.”
Reidy says the Holy Spirit made her to do it.
“For the past 2 1/2 weeks the Holy Spirit has been waking me up in the middle of the night and preparing me (through my reluctance and doubt) to deliver a message in the House Chamber,” she told Fox News’ Chad Pergram in a statement. “That is what I did last night.”
A woman tried calming Reidy as others alerted police. The presiding officer, Florida Rep. Illeana Ros-Lethinen, banged the gavel several times to restore order, but Reidy persisted. “You cannot serve two masters,” she shouted as she was removed from the floor.
Ros-Lethinen says 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,’ ” according to Fox News.
“I hammered to get control and hush her up. She said something about the devil. It was sudden, confusing and heartbreaking. She is normally a gentle soul.”
Fox News says Reidy is well-liked and not the radical partisan type. The network reported the incident caused several members to express concern for her mental health.
“I think there’s a lot of sympathy, because something clearly happened there,” the Times reported Rep. Gerry Connolly saying.
Rep. Joaquin Castro added: “I’ve seen her around when I’ve been on the floor. Other members who have been here longer said she always seemed nice.”
Reidy was sent for a mental evaluation after being questioned by U.S. Capitol Police. It was not immediately clear if criminal charges would be filed.