(NBC) -- Retail sales are down for a third straight month, hiring is sluggish, and the economy seems to be slipping.
The question is, who's to blame.
In Washington, that depends on whether you're a Democrat or Republican.
But today, lawmakers are going to get a non-partisan take on this nation's bottom line.
On Capitol Hill - an economic pulse check.
Lawmakers are quizzing fed chief Ben Bernanke, even as they get ready for an epic showdown on tax and spending cuts. "They are ready and willing to gov over fiscal cliff if they don't get their way," said Sen. Minority Leader, Senator Mitch McConnell, (R-KY).
"I will absolutely continue this debate into 2013, rather than lock in a long-term deal this year that throws middle class families under the bus," said Senator Patty Murray, (D) Washington.
Democrats and Republicans each accuse the other for a slowing economy.
Mitt Romney's supporters are blaming the president. "Terrible jobs report last week. We've had continued bad news on consumer confidence, on manufacturing. We're now looking at the weakest economic recovery we've had since the Great Depression," said Senator Rob Portman, (R) Ohio.
At a million-dollar fundraiser in Mississippi, Romney blasted the president for helping big-money donors while ignoring the middle class.
The President is blaming Congress. "The problem is we've got a stalemate right now in Washington," said President Barack Obama.
At a Team USA Basketball exhibition in Washington, the Commander-in-Chief made a command performance on the "kiss cam" with one of the few people whose vote he doesn't have to win.