The non-profit sector got a good look at sausage-making on Capitol Hill this fall during the health care debate. Whether the sector got ground up in the process is unknown at this writing, but the experience should not have been a surprise.
Will Rogers famously observed, "Congress meets tomorrow morning. Let us pray." He could have been thinking about how a "must pass" piece of legislation can easily become a Christmas tree--it attracts lots of legislative "ornaments" in the form of amendments having nothing to do with the underlying bill. These ornaments tend to pop up seemingly out of nowhere, and do so at the last minute when scrutiny is weak because attention spans become short as Congress rushes to adjourn. Then odd things happen.