The male Senate leaders may have tied the bow on a deal aimed at ending the government shutdown, but credit for shaping the package is being given to a group of women, led by Sen. Susan Collins of Maine.
Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., said Wednesday that the budget standoff in Washington and partisan bickering have eroded the confidence of the American people and damaged the credibility of the U.S. Congress.
The House voted unanimously Wednesday to restore a benefit that helps families of fallen soldiers plan funerals and meet their loved ones' bodies - a snag of the government shutdown that drew outrage across the country.
The Senate sat in almost total silence Tuesday as two of its most respected members denounced the suspension of a benefit that helps families of fallen soldiers meet their flag-draped coffins - an unexpected side effect of the government shutdown.
The federal government was poised to shutdown for the first time in nearly two decades following more than a week of legislative jockeying by House Republicans to extract concessions from President Obama and Senate Democrats on the Affordable Care Act.