Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) on Friday ridiculed the size of the crowd at a Tea Party rally on Capitol Hill for deep spending cuts.
No more than a couple of hundred activists showed up for the Washington demonstration, many fewer than past Tea Party rallies in the nation's capital.
Reid and his fellow Senate Democrats have repeatedly taken aim at the Tea Party and conservative freshman House Republicans, saying they are rooting for a government shutdown amid negotiations over a proposal to fund the government through the end of the fiscal year.
Republicans say it is Democrats who are rooting for a shutdown. They criticize the Senate for being unable to move a bill on this year's spending levels.
Tea Party activists have pressed House Republican lawmakers to hold firm to their proposal to cut $61 billion from the budget this year, even though that plan failed to pass the Senate.
Reid also said his party is committed to keeping out controversial policy riders favored by the Tea Party and House Republicans from the spending proposal, such as provisions to defund the new healthcare law and Planned Parenthood.
"We are not going to bend on some of these ridiculous riders they have," he said.