Clarifying comments he made earlier Thursday, aides to Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) said that he does not agree with the idea of repealing a tax on medical devices used to fund the new federal health-care law as part of a short-term spending measure to fund government operations.

At his weekly news conference, Reid called the tax itself "stupid," but later his spokesman, Adam Jentleson, sent an e-mail clarifying the senator's comments.