Reid 'disappointed,' says it's too early to give up on deficit deal

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said Tuesday that he is “disappointed” that his House GOP counterpart has given up hope in achieving a deficit deal this year.

Reid told reporters that it is far too early to give up on the prospect of a bipartisan deal on taxes and spending during the lame-duck session after Election Day.

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He said Republicans need to look at the glass “half full” instead of “half empty,” noting that Democrats are willing to extend the Bush-era tax rates for 98 percent of American families.

“I was disappointed when my friend John Boehner said today that he has no confidence on a budget deal. I think we have to look at the glass being half full and not half empty all the time. I’m confident that we will reach some kind of arrangement,” Reid said.

“It’s much, much too early to give up," Reid added. "I’m not going to give up.”

Reid spoke a few hours after House Speaker John Boehner said he was "not confident at all" that the White House and Congress could agree to a deficit-reduction deal. Unless Congress acts, domestic and defense programs will undergo automatic cuts adding up to $110 billion in 2013 and a slew of tax cuts will expire.

Reid predicted Republicans would be more willing to compromise on the future of the Bush-era tax rates set to expire in January after Election Day.

“I believe that once the elections are over the Tea Party strength will be significantly weakened,” he said.

This story was updated at 3:13 p.m.