After casting their final votes of a session in which few laws were passed, members of Congress leave for a five-week recess. J. Scott Applewhite/AP hide caption

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The Life Of A Lobbyist In A Do-Nothing Congress
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IRS Targets Money Transfers In Social-Welfare Politicking
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FEC: Tea Party May Not Shield Donors
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Bitcoins have gone from an Internet oddity to much more. The FEC is now considering allowing the virtual currency to fund some political campaigns. Rick Bowmer/AP hide caption

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What A Bitcoin Political Debut Could Mean For Transparency
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Contractors Lobby For Alternatives To Military Cuts
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Outside Money Plays Big Role In Va. Race For Governor
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A composite image shows part of the NPR/Center for Responsive Politics reporting team's whiteboard at NPR headquarters that was used to map out how Wellspring connects to other social welfare groups. (Click the enlarge button to see a full-size image.) John W. Poole/NPR hide caption

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Secret Persuasion: How Big Campaign Donors Stay Anonymous
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The Au Sable River in Michigan is a popular place for fly fishermen and the heart of a debate unexpectedly influenced by largely invisible social welfare organizations. Christine Arrasmith/NPR hide caption

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From Social Welfare Groups, A River Of Political Influence
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Outside Political Money Floods Virginia Races
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The Olmsted Locks and Dam project is under construction on the Ohio River between Illinois and Kentucky. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers hide caption

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Money For Dam Project In Shutdown Deal Riles Conservatives
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Why A Medical Device Tax Became Part Of The Fiscal Fight
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