Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry ReidFree speech is a right, not a political weapon Overnight Tech: FCC eyes cybersecurity role | More trouble for spectrum auction | Google seeks 'conservative outreach' director Cures bill clears first Senate hurdle MORE (D-Nev.) on Tuesday said the Republican Party is now controlled by ideologues either devoted to or scared by conservative activist Grover Norquist.

"The Republican Party has been taken over by ideologies either devoted to, or terrified by, Grover Norquist and his no-tax pledge, whatever that means," said Reid.

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Norquist, who is the president of the anti-tax group Americans for Tax Reform, has obtained the signatures of all but 13 Republican members of Congress on his Taxpayer Protection Pledge, which is a commitment to oppose attempts to create a net increase in federal taxes.  

Reid was arguing from the floor that Republicans' refusal to consider tax hikes of any kind is poisoning negotiations on reducing the deficit and raising the debt ceiling. 

"Republicans refuse to negotiate," said Reid. "They won't even admit to supporting their own long-held positions if Democrats support those positions too."