(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.