Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., prepares to announce a debt ceiling deal in July 2011. That deal laid the foundation for the across-the-board spending cuts set to take effect on New Year's Day, 2013. Harry Hamburg/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Harry Hamburg/AP

President Obama meets with Jason and Ali McLaughlin and their son, Cooper, while visiting their home in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Susan Walsh/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Susan Walsh/AP