Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says Republicans are being led like puppets by anti-tax activist Grover Norquist, dimming prospects for a compromise in Congress' so-called supercommittee.
Reid made his remarks as the panel heard from veterans of other deficit-cutting groups that wound up recommending higher taxes. The committee has until Nov. 23 to recommend legislation to reduce federal deficits by $1.2 trillion over the next decade.
Republicans and Democrats on the supercommittee exchanged proposals last week that show they remain far apart despite weeks of private meetings.
Democrats have been critical of the GOP proposal, noting it contained none of the higher taxes that they and President Barack Obama have demanded as a pre-condition for changes in benefit programs such as Medicare.