WASHINGTON (AP) -- At the start of a second presidential term, cutting a secret, late-night fiscal deal with the White House on the phone and with a handshake suddenly seems so yesterday.

Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell has declared there will be no more brinkmanship and no more last-minute deals. House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, last year's Republican vice presidential nominee, says it's all about "prudence."

What's in, for the moment at least, is a more deliberative legislative process. That could mean less drama like the New Year's deal that averted the once-dreaded "fiscal cliff."

The reasons for this turn are fundamentally political. Republicans are less interested in battling a re-elected Obama, with his higher popularity ratings, than they are in confronting Senate Democrats.