Vice President Joe Biden on Thursday commemorated the 19th anniversary of the Violence Against Women Act, taking a moment to chide "this sort of Neanderthal crowd" in the House for stalling the legislation's reauthorization.
Biden said that it has been "absolutely fascinating to see the ripple effect of this little old Act we passed 19 years ago," adding that he was "stunned" when House Republicans fought for over a year to stall the reauthorization of the bill, according to a pool report. A bill to reauthorize the act ultimately passed the House in February.
"I'm going to say something outrageous," Biden continued, per the pool report. "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 held "this sort of neanderthal crowd" responsible for the delay, and credited women in the Senate for pressuring members of the House to accept expanded protections for gay, Native American and illegal immigrant women.
"It makes a difference with women in the Senate," Biden said. "It does. It does, man ... Because they go and look all the rest of those guys in the eye and say, 'Look. This is important to me.'"