Washington (CNN) - Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid dismissed a recent GOP deficit reduction plan Thursday, saying it isn't a serious attempt at compromise despite the tax increases it includes.
Asked if he was encouraged by negotiations among members of the congressional "super committee" that is trying to forge a debt-reduction agreement, the Nevada Democrat curtly told CNN: "With that phony deal the Republicans offered? No."
In a separate interview with CNN, the panel's Republican co-chairman appeared disturbed when told about Reid's comments, and indicated he thinks it is increasingly apparent the Senate majority leader does not want to help broker a deal.
"If (Reid) wants to be helpful he can be helpful," said Rep. Jeb Hensarling of Texas. "If he doesn't want to be helpful, apparently he's not going to be helpful."
Members of the 12-member super committee have until November 23 to reach an agreement on at least $1.2 trillion in savings over the next decade. If they do so, Congress will vote on the package before Christmas.
If a majority on the panel - composed of six Democrats and six Republicans - fails to reach an agreement, significant automatic spending cuts are scheduled to take effect starting in 2013.
Earlier Thursday, Hensarling insisted congressional Republicans had made "major" concessions on taxes, and criticized his Democratic counterparts for allegedly failing to make a similar move by proposing cuts in popular entitlement programs such as Medicare and Medicaid.
"This is not part of a blame game," the congressman told reporters. But "the (major) drivers" of Washington's skyrocketing spending are Medicare and Medicaid, and "unless we fundamentally address that we will fail in our statutory duty."
Negotiators "remain hopeful," Hensarling insisted. "The stakes are too high for our economy to just throw up our hands."
Democratic Sen. Max Baucus of Montana, also a super committee member, insisted that members of his party are working with the Republicans.
"We are talking together. We are negotiating. It is ongoing," Baucus said. "Any statement that we've broken off is not true. It is not true. We are working together."
While Republicans claim Democrats are failing to give ground on entitlements, Democrats say Republicans haven't done nearly enough to help generate new revenue from the wealthy.
Republicans led by Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania put forward a blueprint earlier this week that would cap individual deductions while cutting all six income tax rates by roughly 20%. Under the proposal, the top rate would fall from 35% to 28%.
Toomey's proposed cap on deductions represents a notable shift for congressional Republicans, who have traditionally opposed anything that might increase tax payments.
The $1.4 trillion GOP plan includes $500 billion in new revenue, according to a Republican aide.
While Reid appeared to dismiss the plan on Thursday, the Senate's second-highest ranking Democrat, Richard Durbin of Illinois, told reporters on Wednesday that the GOP's willingness to put tax increases on the table was a "breakthrough."
Democrats on the panel have countered with a $2.3 billion deficit reduction package, including $1 trillion in tax revenue, $1 trillion in spending cuts, and $300 billion in interest savings, according to a copy of the plan obtained by CNN.
Democrats pushed earlier for $1.3 trillion in new revenue.
- CNN's Kate Bolduan and Alan Silverleib contributed to this report.