When the 113th U.S. Congress started its first session on January 3, Speaker of the House John Boehner told the House and Senate, "... we are sent here not to be something, but to do something..." So the next day, the 113th Congress rolled up its sleeves and did something. First they passed one bill. Then, they voted to take the next two weeks off. Whew!
The bill Congress passed on January 4 was H.R. 41, allowing FEMA to borrow an additional $9.7 billion to pay National Flood Insurance program claims resulting from Hurricane Sandy. The $9.7 billion is just a part of the $60.4 billion in spending included in what critics have called the "pork-filled" bill H.R. 1 - Supplemental Appropriations for Disaster Assistance.
With the $9.7 billion spent, Congress then passed Senate Concurrent Resolution 3, providing for a "conditional" adjournment or recess of Congress until January 21.
Now, the adjournment is "conditional," meaning that the Majority Leader of the Senate and the Speaker of the House could summon the members back to D.C. before January 21 should something come up they feel is important enough that "the public interest shall warrant it."
Yes, the U.S. government is expected to again exceed its debt limit by February 15, and we all remember what goes along with that. But congressional leadership has already decided that defaulting on a $15 trillion debt and having to shutdown many government functions will not be that important.
Of course, Congress will be very busy when it returns on January 21, spending the day and long into the night presiding over President Obama's inauguration.