OVERNIGHT MONEY: House GOP preps for debt-limit vote

One place to take that temperature tomorrow will be at the first “Conversation with Conservatives” of the 113th Congress. Several of the House’s most conservative members, including some who have butted heads with party leaders in the past, will be on hand to offer their perspective on the nation’s business.

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner has told Congress the nation has hit its borrowing limit, and that “extraordinary measures” are expected to only put off a default until sometime in mid-February to the beginning of March.

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The last debt-limit hike covered federal borrowing for more than a year, but a short-term deal is not unprecedented for Congress. According to The Wall Street Journal, the government has boosted the debt limit 39 times since 1983, and 25 of those kept the government borrowing for less than a year. In fact, the limit was increased five times in October 1990 alone, with many lasting just a few days.

While the nation may be less than a month from default, markets so far are keeping an even keel. Markets closed at their highest levels since 2007, and traders will be back on the floor Tuesday following the federal holiday.


WHAT ELSE TO WATCH FOR

It’s not just the House that’ll be back to work tomorrow — the Senate will be back in session as well. Senate Democrats will be huddling for their weekly lunch and game-planning how to approach the budget question. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) has said any budget from Senate Democrats will include increased revenues, and could be used as a vehicle to advance tax reform — a topic the president highlighted in his inaugural address.

Limit look-see: Meanwhile, members of the House Ways and Means Committee will take a long, hard look at all this debt-limit business with a hearing of their own. The hearing is aimed at looking at how the debt limit, an anomaly in most of the First World, has been handled by the U.S. in the past. Furthermore, the hearing will examine whether the Constitution gives “options” to President Obama to get around the limit, amid chatter that the president could employ the 14th Amendment or mint a massive platinum coin to work around that pesky borrowing cap. A handful of experts from both sides of the aisle will be on hand to offer their take.


ECONOMIC INDICATORS 

Existing Home Sales: The National Association of Realtors releases December figures for sales of existing homes, which are completed transactions across a broad range of housing types, including single-family homes.


WHAT YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED

— House Republicans unveil measure to suspend the debt ceiling until May 19
— Few details on Senate Dem budget plan


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