Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) worried Sunday that the government might be shut down if Republican leadership continued to be cowered by the tea party movement.
"The Republican leadership in the House has to make a decision whether they're going to do the right thing for the country or do the right thing for the tea party," Reid told CBS' Bob Schieffer.
"The tea party, you see, they spent weeks organizing here. The day came for their demonstration a couple days ago. They didn't have thousands of people there. They didn't have hundreds of people. They had tens of people. If you really stretch it, you might have had 150 people there. The tea party is is not looked at very strongly around the country. The only attention they get is in the House of Representatives. They shouldn't be getting that attention," he said.
"Are you saying that Speaker Boehner and the Republicans who have been here for a while are afraid of the tea party? Is that what's going on here?" Schieffer asked.
"That's a pretty good choice of words. The answer is yes. The tea party is dictating a lot that goes on in the Republican leadership in the House. They shouldn't," Reid explained.
This video is from CBS' Face the Nation, broadcast April 3, 2011.