WASHINGTON, Sept. 13 (UPI) -- U.S. Vice President Joe Biden called House Republicans who tried to block reauthorization of Violence Against Women Act "neanderthals."
Biden's remarks came at an event celebrating the 19th anniversary of the passing of the VAWA, the White House said in a release.
"I'm going to say something outrageous. 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?" Biden said, referring to an effort by House Republicans to stall the reauthorization of the bill for months over its new protections for American Indian, immigrant and LGBT victims of abuse. The bill was eventually reauthorized in February.
Biden said "this sort of Neanderthal crowd" in the House was responsible for stalling the legislation.
"Did you ever think we'd be fighting over, you know, 17, 18 years later to reauthorize this?" Biden asked. "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 a main champion of the VAWA when Congress initially enacted it.