Reid: 'Men, when they're out of work, tend to become abusive'

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) suggested Monday that domestic violence by men has increased due to U.S. joblessness.

Reid, speaking in the midst of a Senate debate over whether to pass a $15 billion package meant to spur job creation, appeared to argue that joblessness would lead to more domestic violence.

"I met with some people while I was home dealing with domestic abuse. It has gotten out of hand," Reid said on the Senate floor. "Why? Men don't have jobs."

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Reid said that the effects of joblessness on domestic violence were especially pronounced among men, because, Reid said, women tend to be less abusive.

"Women don't have jobs either, but women aren’t abusive, most of the time," he said.

"Men, when they're out of work, tend to become abusive," the majority leader added. "Our domestic crisis shelters in Nevada are jammed.”

Reid's remarks aren't the first controversial remarks he's made on the Senate floor. He said in the midst of December's heated healthcare debate that the Senate needed a "Rodney King" moment where members could "all try to get along," channeling the plea of King, who pleaded with L.A. to calm itself after its 1991 race riots.

The Senate supported cloture in a 62-30 vote on Monday evening.

Watch a video of Reid's remarks below: