Sen. Mitch McConnell has two challengers lined up on his left and right flank, and some wondered if he would be able to broker a last-minute deal to avert a default on the national debt and end a weeks-old government shutdown.
But McConnell, the senior senator from Kentucky and the Senate Republican leader, came through Wednesday with a bipartisan agreement, forged with his not-always-friendly rival across the aisle, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada.
It isn't Reid that McConnell is worried about, though.
McConnell, 71, may be facing his toughest re-election fight in his nearly 30 years in the Senate. Not only has he drawn a strong Democratic challenger in Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes, but he's also got a tea party-aligned Republican primary challenger in businessman Matt Bevin.
On Wednesday, both pounced.
Bevin, who supported efforts to defund President Barack Obama's signature health-care law, called McConnell's compromise a "rotten deal" and "a slap in the face" to Kentuckians.
"When the stakes are highest, Mitch McConnell can always be counted on to sell out conservatives," Bevin said in a statement.
The Grimes campaign, which raised $2.5 million during her campaign's first three months, outpacing McConnell's $2.27 million, said in a statement that he was "attempting to pat himself on the back for finally deciding to do his job."
McConnell has never won re-election by a wide margin. But unlike past years when he's been able to overwhelm his opponent in the general election, he'll have to spend a big chunk of his war chest fending off Bevin.
Bevin is hardly the only tea party figure who's caused trouble for McConnell. In 2010, Rand Paul defeated McConnell's preferred candidate in the Republican Senate primary. Paul is now Kentucky's junior senator.
Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, who also beat an establishment-backed Republican to win his Senate seat last year, led the failed effort to link any increase in the debt limit to defunding the Affordable Care Act.