Reid urges GOP to resist Tea Party pressure on jobs plan

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) lashed out at the Tea Party on Friday, saying it was holding back the economy to hurt President Obama. 

Speaking on the Senate floor a day after Obamas address to a joint session of Congress, Reid ripped Tea Party Republicans radical agenda and called on centrist Republicans to join Democrats in passing Obamas jobs plan. 

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I urge reasonable Republicans to resist the voices of the Tea Party and others who would oppose this legislation and [instead] root for our economy, Reid said.

We must not continue to bow to the Tea Party Republicans willing to do anything to hurt the president. [We] cannot allow their radical agenda to crowd out Americas jobs agenda.

The morning after Obamas jobs push, Democrats were making a full-court press to back him.

Besides Reids floor speech, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is expected to tout Obamas plan at a Friday news conference. On Thursday, she urged her caucus to pressure GOP committee chairmen in the House to schedule hearings and legislative work on Obamas plan.

Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), ranking member on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, did exactly that on Friday, urging committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.) to schedule work on the presidents jobs agenda.

Obama himself will speak Friday in Richmond, Va., to advocate his $447 billion jobs plan, which includes tax cuts, new spending measures and an extension of unemployment benefits.

Democrats are demanding that Republicans give Obamas package an up or down vote. 

Rep. John Larson (Conn.), chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, said carving the bill up and passing the portions both sides could agree upon would represent a punt that would likely undermine the publics faith in Congress to work out difficult problems.

The public perceives that as kicking the can down the road and not stepping up, Larson said during a brief news briefing Friday. [Obamas] got a plan. Hes laid it out there. What is the problem with voting it up or down?

Reid said the Tea Party was opposing Obamas plan for political reasons, motives he described as sad.

Reid then implied that the far right in Congress is working to dampen the nations economy in an effort to increase its chances in the 2012 presidential election.

This story was last updated at 11:35 a.m.

Mike Lillis contributed to this story.