Tara Reade alleges he sexually assaulted her two years later.
The Washington Free Beacon reported that back in 1991, presumptive 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, then Delaware senator, opposed a procedural motion that would have created a Senate office to handle sexual harassment complaints.
Former Biden staffer Tara Reade alleges he sexually assaulted her in 1993, two years after he opposed the motion.
Created as a part of the Civil Rights Act of 1991 in the shadow of Anita Hill’s testimony on Capitol Hill, the creation of the Office of Senate Fair Employment Practices was an attempt to remedy the fact that Congress was, at the time, exempt from workplace discrimination laws. An amendment to the civil rights law introduced by Sen. Chuck Grassley (R., Iowa) chartered the office and provided “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.”
Grassley’s amendment sparked fierce opposition from some of his colleagues, led by then-Republican senator Warren Rudman (N.H.), who argued that the office would become a “Son of Frankenstein” and warned that “everyone here will be in jeopardy and we will have done much violence to this body and the Constitution.”
Rudman raised a point of order aimed at declaring the amendment unconstitutional and striking it from the Civil Rights Act. The legislative maneuver failed by a 76-22 vote, with Biden joining Rudman, and then-senators William Cohen (R., Maine) and Strom Thurmond (R., S.C.), to eliminate the office.
Biden and six other Democrats considered the Office of Senate Fair Employment Practices in 1991 unconstitutional. Biden did not explain his vote during the Senate debate.
Rudman tried to ruin the amendment when he failed the first time. Biden again voted with Rudman when Grassley tried to table the amendment. It passed the tabling motion.
The amendment passed via a voice vote. We do not know Biden’s final vote. Biden’s campaign told the publication that the then-senator “‘voted for a point of order on an amendment’ that would have established the Office of Senate Fair Employment Practices.”DONATE
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