Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell approached the microphones for his weekly press conference on Tuesday with more sense of purpose than he's had since he tried -- but failed -- to derail the health care law in March. His goal this time was to kill the Omnibus spending bill, which his Democratic counterpart Harry Reid had just unveiled. Just as earlier this year, though, he didn't sound like a party leader who was certain he had the votes to kill it.
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"I am actively working to defeat it," he said.
At that point, it looked like the package would sneak by with the help of a half-dozen or more Senate Republicans who don't have a religious aversion to earmarking. On Thursday, Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) released a statement describing it as "on a glide path to passage." But as the week dragged on, more and more of those members started inching away from the spending bill.