President Obama's economic team has weathered many storms during the last year as the nation's recession dragged on, but this week two of the administration's leading figures will have to navigate some especially rough headwinds on Capitol Hill.
Not only is Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke's reconfirmation up in the air in the Senate, but Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner will face a grilling on the Hill Wednesday over the controversial bailout of the insurance giant AIG.
The House Oversight & Government Reform Committee is examining the role of the New York Fed – under Geithner's leadership – limiting AIG's public disclosures about paying off companies they had transactions with during the tumultuous fall of 2008.
E-mails obtained by ABC News showed that the New York Fed wanted the Securities & Exchange Commission to store a document related to the AIG bailout "in a special area where national security related files are kept" if the SEC agreed that the document should not be made public. Another e-mail showed the New York Fed's lawyers directing AIG to run "future SEC filings, press releases, and other significant communications" by the Fed's lawyers first.
The e-mails come from 250,000 documents handed over to the House committee after the panel's chairman, Ed Towns, D-N.Y., subpoenaed the New York Fed.
Now the panel's ranking Republican, Darrell Issa of California, is calling for the White House to shake up his economic team.
"If the president is angling to successfully hit the restart button on the economic debate, he is going to have to reshuffle the deck of economic advisors or face questions about his sincerity and credibility," Issa told ABC News. "Both Democrats and Republicans in the House and Senate are openly challenging the wisdom of his advisors, and with unemployment stalled at ten percent and the majority of Americans disapproving of the President's handling of the economy, there couldn't be a better time to make changes."
Wednesday's AIG hearing comes on the heels of a rough week for the White House.
Last week Main Street's outrage at Washington and Wall Street was on full display as Republican Scott Brown scored an upset victory in the Massachusetts Senate race to snatch away the Democrats' super-majority in the Senate and jeopardize the administration's push for health care reform.
Brown's shocking win also left Bernanke's seemingly-certain reconfirmation in jeopardy, as last Friday two prominent Democrats -- Sens. Russ Feingold and Barbara Boxer -- added their names to the list of liberals opposing a second term for Bernanke as Fed chairman.
"I don't think people think Bernanke's done, but before they thought it was a foregone conclusion -- and now they don't," a Congressional source told ABC News. "What's changed? Massachusetts. Now folks aren't sure what to do and they don't really trust the administration and everybody feels very vulnerable."
Simply put, the source said, "People are skittish."
One critic, Prof. Peter Morici of the University of Maryland, told ABC News that Main Street's outrage about the recession could lead to the White House reworking their economic team.
"My feeling is that if things don't get better, they're going to have to feed someone to the wolves," said Morici.
But the White House says no such changes are coming.