Success of the 9/11 commission means lawmakers often punt toughest investigations to independent bodies – despite some internal resistance.
The Senate nears a vote on a bill to help ease the foreclosure crisis, as banking and real estate lobbies successfully resist efforts to let courts adjust terms of mortgages.
With billions at stake, there's major concern about lack of accountability – especially with so many private contractors involved.
Even if it adds up to $8 trillion, the final cost will be lower as US sells the assets it's now buying.
Speculation can add $70 to the price of a barrel of oil, critics charge.
In the Senate, opponents focus on pump prices and tax consequences.