Then-Democratic Delaware Sen. Joe Biden in 1991 reportedly tried to block the establishment of a Senate sexual harassment watchdog.
Biden joined with several prominent Republicans — like Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch, Texas Sen. Phil Gramm and South Carolina Sen. Strom Thurmond and five other Democrats — in an effort to squelch the creation of the Office of Senate Fair Employment Practices, the Washington Free Beacon reported Tuesday.
The office deals with sexual harassment complaints levied against senators and allow them to be discussed and heard more thoroughly.
The presumptive Democratic presidential nominee balked at the office’s creation about two years before he allegedly sexually assaulted then-staffer Tara Reade. (RELATED: Here’s Everything You Need To Know About Biden Accuser Tara Reade And Her Sexual Assault Allegation, All In One Place)
For more than a month, Biden did not face a single question about the alleged incident despite frequent media appearances with prominent network hosts. The former vice president did not raise the issue himself either until Friday when Mika Brzezinski interviewed Biden on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”
The Office of Senate Fair Employment Practices was created in the aftermath of the Anita Hill inquiry and was shepherded by Republican Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley. He wanted legislation that created “procedures to protect the right of Senate and other government employees … to be free from discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, or disability.” (RELATED: NYT Executive Editor Appears To Admit Edit On Biden Sexual Assault Allegation Came After Pressure From Biden Campaign)
Some senators objected to Grassley’s objective, with then-Republican New Hampshire Sen. Warren Rudman arguing that the chamber would someday regret creating the office and that “everyone here will be in jeopardy,” the Free Beacon observed.
The legislation ultimately passed by a voice vote, with Biden’s specific objections to the office going unrecorded, according to the Congressional Record. Biden, along with other dissenters, ultimately voted in favor of the Civil Rights Act of 1991 — of which the Office of Senate Fair Employment Practices was a part.
The Daily Caller reached out to the Biden campaign for clarification of why the former vice president opposed the office and is awaiting a response.