Sen. Reid opens Senate with presidential politics

On the Senate floor Tuesday, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said the Tea Party is driving force behind the Republican's debt plan.

(CBS News) After a five-week break from Washington, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., opened up the Senate with remarks not about the mountain of work that is on Congress' plate -- including the farm bill, spending bills and the looming "fiscal cliff" -- but slamming the Republican presidential ticket.

"What loopholes do they want to close?" Reid said of Mitt Romney's tax plan. "They will not say. It's part of their fictitious math."

Congress is back in Washington for just two weeks before adjourning again until after the election in November. If that's not enough of a sign that all roads in politics lead to Election Day, Reid's fiery remarks are further evidence that little work will be done until the future landscape of Washington is determined just 57 days from now.

Republicans will "return us to the failed economic policies that brought us to the Great Recession," Reid espoused. "We don't want to go back to that, we can't go back to that," he added, charging that Romney would "tilt the playing field to those that already have everything."

Reid did not save his political attacks for Mitt Romney and his running mate, Paul Ryan. He said it's "a shame" that his Republican counterpart, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has only politics on his agenda.

"His number one goal is to defeat President Obama, not create jobs," Reid said, alluding to remarks McConnell made in 2010.

Like Reid, Republicans used their opening remarks to talk about presidential politics. Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., the second-highest ranking Republican, highlighted the "key themes" of the Republican convention: "freedom, opportunity and earned success."

"Returning to free-market principles and pro-growth policies will move us forward," he said.

  • Leigh Ann Caldwell On Twitter»

    Leigh Ann Caldwell is a political reporter for CBSNews.com.

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