Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., speaks during the 133rd Annual Fancy Farm Picnic in Fancy Farm, Ky., on Aug. 3. McConnell said this week that using a big spending bill to defund Obamacare is not the way to go. Stephen Lance Dennee/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Stephen Lance Dennee/AP

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., speaks Tuesday on Capitol Hill. After a compromise, Reid stepped back from a threat to strip the Senate GOP minority of its right to filibuster executive branch nominees. Jacquelyn Martin/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Jacquelyn Martin/AP