Should members of Congress cut their salaries or raise the age at which they can draw a congressional pension when many Americans are making personal sacrifices during the country's prolonged economic crisis?
Last month, Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio, a strong defender of the public option for health care, warned: "I don't want four Democratic senators dictating to the other 56 of us and to the country, when the public option has this much support, that it is not going to be in it."
The U.S. Senate gave final approval Friday to a $787 billion recovery package that President Obama hopes will help boost an economy in freefall with a combination of government spending and tax cuts and credits.
The White House has provided the use of a government airplane to a key Democratic senator in order to ensure the availability of what may prove to be the deciding 60th vote in favor of the $787 billion economic stimulus package.
As President-elect Barack Obama plans for his administration, the economy tops his list of priorities. The Dow has been down, unemployment rates are soaring, and companies announce more layoffs each week.
Winston Churchill was fond of using the old saw that "democracy is the worst form of government ? except for everything else." Many would say the same for the Electoral College. Get ready for its quirks and foibles to dominate the airwaves Tuesday if the election stays as close as the polls indicate. Here's a look at how it works, whom it favors and how it could influence the presidential outcome: