While Bernanke and some Democrats see a recovery spurred by easy money, Republican lawmakers and some of Bernanke's more hawkish compatriots at the Fed see an economy threatened by future inflation. And the multiple factors that affect GDP -- a strengthening private sector, the European crisis, China's growth -- make it difficult to isolate just how much Bernanke and his peers at the Fed have helped.
While the argument rages on, the recovery is expected to continue its slow acceleration, with GDP growth potentially inching past 3 percent next year, according to predictions from the Federal Reserve's Open Market Committee.
Meanwhile, lawmakers appear no closer to reaching agreement on how to cut long-term deficits and debt. All of which could set the stage for another read-through of the same script when Bernanke comes to the Hill again.