Recent bills – for students, GIs, housing market – add to long-term budget commitments.
With a retirement this summer, the central bank will have just four of seven board seats filled.
Lenders who trim the principal on troubled loans would get federal loan guarantees.
The Federal Housing Administration takes a bigger role under most emerging plans.
At a congressional hearing Thursday, the Fed chairman defended the rescue of the investment bank.
Reception to reform is warm on the Hill, but lawmakers seek more urgent action.
On the Hill, bills range from rule changes allowing judges to rewrite mortgage terms to a financial-sector overhaul.
As lenders tighten standards, the possibility of a recession increases.
The Fed chief and Treasury Secretary Paulson note tightening credit markets but expect a return to normal.