Economic growth picks up to 3.1 percent

The nation's economy expanded at a 1.3 percent rate in the second quarter. 

Economists have expressed concern that growth could be cut in half in the final three months of the year because of trepidation from consumers and businesses over looming tax increases and spending cuts that Congress is still trying to solve. 

The House will vote on two bills on Thursday that would replace scheduled sequester cuts for next year and provide permanent tax relief for those making less than $1 million a year. 

But congressional Democrats and the White House aren't on board with the plan and the measure, pushed by Speaker John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerThe two-party system is dying — let’s put it out of its misery One year later, neither party can get past last year's election White House strikes back at Bushes over legacy MORE (R-Ohio), might not attract enough votes to pass.