ENGLEWOOD CLIFFS, N.J. -- Not far from the spot where Aaron Burr shot Alexander Hamilton, U.S. Rep. Jim Himes found himself in the thick of his own fight Monday morning on the anniversary of this nation's most famous political "duel."

The caffeinated congressman went Mano a Mano with New Jersey Republican Scott Garrett -- in front of a national television audience -- on the debt ceiling, taxes, the stimulus, subsidies for big oil and labor regulation.

The rivals from the powerful House Financial Services Committee co-hosted "Squawk Box," the signature program of business network CNBC's morning lineup.

One of the most animated exchanges between the two came when Garrett accused Himes of failing to read the Wall Street reform act crafted by fellow Democrats Chris Dodd of Connecticut and Barney Frank of Massachusetts.

"Scott, I helped write that bill," Himes retorted.

Garrett argued that Democrats are shirking accountability for the sluggish economy.

"The economy's not going in the right direction, said Garrett, who is in his fifth term representing parts of northern New Jersey that include Bergen County.

Himes defended the actions taken by President Obama's administration and congressional Democrats, who lost control of the House in 2010.

"Do you want to go back to two years ago?" Himes said.