After nearly 17 days -- and as the deadline for defaulting on the nation’s debt neared -- the U.S. government shutdown ended Wednesday night. Congress approved a bill in favor of ending the shutdown and resuming funding the federal government through Jan. 17, and it voted to raise the debt ceiling until Feb. 7 as well.
But while tensions have eased up and a resolution was passed, there was a moment during Wednesday night’s vote that's caused quite a ruckus inside the House chamber and beyond.
Dianne Reidy, a longtime House stenographer, was yanked out of the House by security after interrupting the vote and shouting, “the House is divided” and “this is not one nation under God!”
A video captured by C-SPAN shows Reidy walking up to the podium and starting to shout as Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.) banged her gavel, screaming “Order!” repeatedly. House security officials carried Reidy away as she was still yelling.
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Audio recording of the outburst from Public Radio International reporter Todd Zwillich quoted Reidy as saying:
“He will not be mocked! This is not one nation under God. It never was. 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! Praise be to God, Lord Jesus Christ."
Ros-Lehtinen 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.'
"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."
CNN reported that Officer Shennell S. Antrobus of Capitol Police took Reidy to a local hospital for evaluation.
So far, it is unclear what prompted Reidy’s meltdown on the House floor. Despite her outburst, though, the vote was completed and the House passed the bill, which was signed by the president shortly after midnight. Still, questions remain as to why Reidy, a woman whom “many officers knew…personally,” CNN reported, would have acted this way.
"She’s a well-known person, she’s a perfectly nice person, a good colleague, somebody who’s respectable and dependable, and this is very surprising to everybody who works with her," CNN reported. "I don't know, she just snapped," said a GOP aide.
Not everyone in Congress was dismissive of Reidy’s outburst, though. According to the Washington Post, Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.) expressed “sympathy” for the stenographer “because something clearly happened there.”