Vice President Joe Biden on Thursday referred to House Republicans as the “Neanderthal crowd” for holding up reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act, according to a White House pool report.
Biden’s comments were made in reference to Republicans’ attempt to reauthorize the law without adding new amendments to the bill expanding protection for minority groups.
“I’m going to say something outrageous,” Biden said during an event at his residence at the Naval Observatory in Washington. “I think I understand the Senate better than any man or women who’s ever served in there, and I think I understand the House…I was surprised this last time…the idea we still had to fight? We had to fight to reauthorize?”
The vice president blamed “this sort of Neanderthal crowd” in the House for “stalling” the legislation.
“Did you ever think we’d be fighting over, you know, 17, 18 years later to reauthorize this?” he asked to a chorus of “no’s.” “Well, you know what? The thing they didn’t like, they said we like it the way it is [without the new protections added in] — believe me, they don’t.”
Biden was also amused by the idea that some Democrat amendments to the bill may be “unconstitutional,” according to the report.
“Constitutional violation? Yeah, come on!” he said.
Congress in March passed a five-year reauthorization of the bill — but only after it was bounced around as a “war on women” meme in the 2012 presidential election.
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