By the time the House started voting on a Senate bill to raise the debt ceiling and reopen the federal government after 16 days, there was really no surprise about how this government shutdown would end. But just as the bill got enough votes to be whisked off to President Obama's desk for a quick signature, something unexpected did happen in the House.
A stenographer, Diane Reidy, grabbed a microphone, started yelling, and was escorted from the floor by Capitol Police. In C-SPAN's video of the odd moment (watch above), you can't hear what she's yelling. NPR's Todd Zwillich has the audio:
Reidy talked a lot about God and Freemasons:
He will not be mocked. He will not be mocked. (Don't touch me.) He will not be mocked. 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 Freemasons. They go against God. You cannot serve two masters. You cannot serve two masters. Praise be to God. Lord Jesus Christ.
As the New York Daily News points out, 13 of the 39 men who signed the Constitution are thought to have been Freemasons. Fox News has more details about the incident and Reidy, a longtime stenographer well-known to lawmakers:
Reidy was taken by Capitol Police to a hospital for a mental evaluation. Twitter reacted as Twitter is prone to do — with jokes:
Shutdown ends not with a bang or a whimper, but with a stenographer.
— Garance Franke-Ruta (@thegarance) October 17, 2013
Washington stenographer loses mind, but enough about the New York Times http://t.co/Gk8SiurhFb
— David Burge (@iowahawkblog) October 17, 2013
If Dems ran the House: Fox News would be reporting that a Christian lady who wanted to pray was dragged out of the place. #HouseStenographer
— Dan Savage (@fakedansavage) October 17, 2013
The funny thing is the House stenographer was only like the 137th craziest person in the room pic.twitter.com/QWseimHtB6
— Dan Amira (@DanAmira) October 17, 2013
Folks, she is the House STENOGRAPHER. She is supposed to replicate craziness she's seeing in the chamber!
— Zachary A. Goldfarb (@Goldfarb) October 17, 2013
But NPR's Zwillich is right:
The audio of the House stenographer is troubling and sad. Many of the jokes bouncing back are pathetic.
— Todd Zwillich (@toddzwillich) October 17, 2013