(CNN) - Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid blasted efforts by Republicans to repeal the health care law passed last year.
In a pre-taped interview that aired Sunday on NBC's "Meet the Press," Reid said the legislation is a "gesture in futility." The Nevada Democrat said calling the bill the "job killing" health care law is almost as senseless as members sleeping in their offices.
"They can't be serious. To increase the debt by more than a trillion dollars? They can't be serious to want– have people now that have preexisting disabilities no longer be able to get insurance," Reid said. When asked if the individual mandate would remain intact he responded, "sure."
He also staked out his position on raising the debt ceiling, an issue Congress is expected to address in the new session. Although he voted against an increase in the debt ceiling in 2006, along with then-Sen. Barack Obama, Reid said members of Congress now need to "act as adults" and raise the limit.
"There's no alternative. In 2006, the debt ceiling was raised. Of course, it had to be raised then. Has to be raised now," Reid said.
But he was critical of those who look to cutting Social Security as a first step to decrease the rising debt, even though he acknowledged there are aspects of the program that could be improved.
"Social Security is a program that works. And it's going to be– it's fully funded for the next 40 years. Stop picking on Social Security," Reid said.
The five-term senator predicted the demise of the Tea Party and said the future of the Republican Party is not necessarily bright.
Reid said the Tea Party was born because of the weak economy and therefore will "disappear as soon as the economy gets better."
"The economy's getting better all the time," Reid said. "I don't think the Tea Party had the vigor and support that people thought it would."
Because President Obama is "on the road to stardom," he said Republicans would be ill-advised to focus on defeating the current president in 2012. "That's a bad place to place your cards," Reid said.
I agree with many legislators calling to tone it down, which needs to be followed up by responsible actions from our leaders.
While I commend both parties for suspending votes this week in respect of Congresswoman Giffords and others, Speaker Boehner needs to take responsibility as a real leader now. There is absolutely no reason for politicians to push unrealistic repeal, that has no chance whatsoever of passing and can only incite more (unnecessary) emotions amongst the American people.
Govern responsibly for a change beyond partisan nonsense, show some real leadership for our country, and work together for realistic improvements going forward.
Wow! He is delusional!
Well we won't have to wait for the economy to improve.This latest act of terrorism is the tea party's execution sentence.
It's tough to hit a target that doesn't exist – like a republican agenda. We didn't hear anything about their plans prior to the election or after. When the dems took the majority, they laid out a clear path to what they wanted to accomplish. You may not have liked it, but they had a plan. The republicans are just winging it – with no foresight to our future, just undo the latest accomplishments. Lame. What are your plans for moving this country FORWARD republicans? What is your plan to create jobs? (Crickets). I expect to see a whole lot more – the republicans can campaign well, they just can't govern effectively.
Republicans plan to destroy health care and social security for poor people. Even though the CBO A nonpartisan agency: States that the Health-care reform bill cuts deficit by $1.3 trillion over 20 years. Republicans need tax cuts for billionaires and increased deficit; I guess.
...and they are NOT serious. How can they be. It's the LAW. Just doesn't want to TACKLE the real issues of putting this country back on it's feet...not helping the President to continue to dig us out of the Messes they created and progressed to this. When Americans start to DEMAND that they do something other than grease the hands of their lobbyist and corporate buddies, the American people will continue to suffer, while they continues to call this great Country the greatest, while doing whatever is necessary to follow Brazilan's led in developing a country that are either Rich or Poor with the top 2% dictating to the rest of us our dreams that are made IMPOSSIBLE by them !.
I agree it is a waste of time. I appreciate my husband being able to pick up a policy after losing his job with diabetes. My 22 year old son is back on mine after going back to college to finish his EE degree. He works full time at the same time without the option of a employer based policy. Don't touch my health care please!!
Reid is an irrelevant and out of touch blow hard. Highly partisan with no substance and inaccurate "facts".
What planet does Reid live on? The economy is not getting better nor will it with Obama cuddling up to the megarich/banks and the bottom has dropped out of the middle class. The Tea Party does not depend upon the economy alone for its anger. Reid continues to be blind to the anger about lawlessness: illegal immigration, no border control, bank fraud, wasteful spending including the new healthcare plan. I think if the Dems had tried to sell healthcare with controls of not giving it to illegals (as they want to give free ed. to illegals thru the Dream Act), it might have been a little more easy to swallow, but even then to cram thousands of pages of law that no one can read in time to vote on it smacks on fraud of the taxpayers. Just a shame Reid was reelected.
It's time for more Democratic legislators to speak out for common sense because Republican legislators sure dont seem to have any.
The reason there IS a republican agenda about which Senator Reid can complain is because of HIS lousy leadership (along with Congresswoman Pelosi). As for the demise of the Tea Party... maybe. But based on the policies of the extreme left (leaders of the democrat party), the Tea Party appears quite a bit healthier than the disappearing southern democrat.
Haarry Reid is an embarassment to the US Senate; he is an Obama worshiper and an out of control spender; he should be removed from office and jailed for trying to wreck the economy of the US>>
The republicans only agenda is to destroy the United States, and they are doing a damn good job of it.
What a dolt Reid is, unbelievable. GOP that is the signal to push like hell! With 20 million unemployed and the private sector working class ravaged, inflation creeping in, where does Reid think the monies will come from to fund the tab for Healthcare, repeal and replace it with an economically viable plan.
Thank you Senator. Now stand firm!
It's not the time for you Reid. You're not liked by the nation as a whole so it's better you keep quite for awhile. Let God have his time with the healing. We don't need to start the hate mongrels up again.
The U.S. CANNOT COMPETE in a world market with countries that have a [real] national health plan. It gets added to the price of the product here. Republicans have blocked Americans with lies since Truman...most of them are the same tactics they used back then (they had a campaign to call it socialism). STOP THAT! Americans go bankrupt when they get sick. Lose their jobs and their insurance when they get sick. BUT WE DON'T DIE ANYMORE. you're don't get sick, but if you do die quick plan is outdated. Our kids are bankrupt and can't afford the house in the first place so what are you going to take from them now? Most of us didn't buy the house because we knew they were just going to take it away anyway (take a long term health care class). No hope here.
Seems like they have lived in a different world for so long they have no clue.
You tell 'em Harry.
Americans without health insurance suffer dramatically increased mortality rates from sudden medical crises such as stroke or heart attack. If Boehner revokes the health insurance that has been extended to 30 million families then he sentences thousands to death.