Eyeing nuclear response, Senate GOP fears playing into Reid's hands

That’s not to say there hasn’t been any response. Typically ahead of a recess, senators conduct a flurry of left-over business via unanimous consent as senators leave town. Last night, nothing was agreed to.

But high-profile retaliatory strikes are unlikely to happen because Republicans believe it would play right into Reid’s hands, taking Obamacare from the front-pages of newspapers. “Retaliation is exactly what Reid is hoping for,” says one GOP aide.

McConnell and other top Republicans hinted at the approach yesterday in comparing Reid’s bare-knuckle tactics with how Democrats passed Obamacare through Congress.

“It is impossible to change the subject away from Obamacare. Reid is not that good,” adds a former McConnell staffer.