The House's caucus of conservative Democrats has long threatened its party's leadership only to fall in line. But Blue Dogs are taking a harder line on healthcare.
While President Obama's budget would expand the scope of government the House GOP alternative aims to return government spending to historical levels.
Major job cuts announced this week add urgency to the bill as it nears a House vote.
Democrats will use credit-crisis hearings this month as a springboard for more regulation next year.
The 2008 'Pig Book' says Congress spent $17.2 billion on pet projects in fiscal '08. But now it's easier to tell who did it.
At stake are competing visions of how to restore fiscal stability and ward off a recession.