Grover Norquist (left), of the anti-tax lobbying group Americans for Tax Reform, and Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK, right) have been in an unusually public spat. Coburn, who seven years ago signed Norquist's so-called Taxpayer Protection Pledge, now says a solution to the deficit could involve an increase in tax revenues. Tim Sloan/AFP/Getty Images (Norquist photo); Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images (Coburn photo) hide caption

itoggle caption Tim Sloan/AFP/Getty Images (Norquist photo); Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images (Coburn photo)

House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan says the 2012 plan is about protecting Medicare. J. Scott Applewhite/AP hide caption

itoggle caption J. Scott Applewhite/AP

A US Navy F-16 fighter jet based at Sigonella airbase on the Italian island of Sicily takes off for operations in Libya. Mario Laporta/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Defense Secretary Robert Gates, shown with Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen, testifies at a House Armed Services Committee hearing last month on the annual defense authorization budget request. Mark Wilson/Getty Images hide caption

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Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), shown in this undated photo, says Republicans are ready and willing to take the lead on overhauling Social Security. "Something must be done," he says. "Where is the president? Suddenly, at the moment when we can actually do something about this, he's silent." Tim Sloan/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Tim Sloan/AFP/Getty Images

Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin took a swipe last week at the president's leadership on budget talks, rankling fellow members of his party. The senator is shown sitting by himself last week in the House of Representatives as he awaited an address to a joint session of Congress by the Australian prime minister. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images hide caption

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Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) sounds like he's ready to make concessions on the budget. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images hide caption

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House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio, shown at a Thursday news conference, has done little to tamp down speculation about a government shutdown. Alex Brandon/AP hide caption

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Shooting suspect Jared Loughner allegedly customized a Glock semiautomatic pistol like the one above to hold an extended ammunition magazine that would have been illegal six years ago. Tim Sloan/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Tom Udall of New Mexico, shown in a 2008 file photo, is leading the fight to change the rules on filibusters in the Senate. Ron Edmonds/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Ron Edmonds/AP

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) filibusters the Obama-GOP tax-cut compromise on Friday. C-SPAN.org hide caption

itoggle caption C-SPAN.org

Job applicants stand in a snaking line in Hanahan, S.C., in April 2009 as they wait to get into a job fair. A short-term extension of jobless benefits for some 2 million long-term unemployed expired at midnight Tuesday as Democrats and Republicans in Congress failed to agree on how those benefits should be further extended. Alan Hawes/The Post and Courier/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Alan Hawes/The Post and Courier/AP

Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ) has said he will oppose consideration of an arms-control treaty with Russia known as New START during the lame-duck session. Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images hide caption

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