Posted by AzBlueMeanie:
The Washington Post reported on Saturday, White House finds unlikely alliance in business community:
President Obama, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew and senior adviser Valerie Jarrett spoke to nearly 150 business executives on a conference call Friday with an update on their efforts to avoid a default, according to a White House summary of the call.
When the call ended, Jarrett entered the Roosevelt Room of the White House to meet with lobbyists for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National Association of Manufacturers, the Financial Services Roundtable and other business groups representing aerospace and technology companies. During the meeting, Jarrett and Brian Deese, deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget, asked the business groups to encourage their member companies to communicate with lawmakers on the urgency of finding a negotiated solution[.]
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[T]he U.S. Chamber is doing research on key states where it can battle back against tea party candidates willing to use the country’s debt repayments as a bargaining chip.
“I do think we need to act. We need to combine and concentrate our efforts to succeed,” said Bruce Josten, the U.S. Chamber’s executive vice president for government affairs, noting the interest he and others have in exploring primary challenges of tea party candidates. “But the equation is complicated and requires very good information.”
Relations between the Obama administration and U.S. Chamber have been testy, with the trade group giving the vast majority of its contributions to Republican candidates in recent election cycles. But on the potential failure to raise the debt ceiling — which some House Republicans insist would be harmless — the White House and the U.S. Chamber are in solid agreement that the results would be catastrophic.
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[T]he specter of default has united various interest groups concerned about their inability to sway a certain set of Republicans on the issue of the shutdown and the debt ceiling.
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Ultra-conservative lawmakers and groups are now rewriting the script. Forged in the aftermath of the bank bailouts, tea party Republicans such as Sen. Ted Cruz (Tex.) are often hostile or indifferent to business interests, a fact that trade groups and businesses are now fully grasping.
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Dirk Van Dongen, head of the National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors, said the impasse has motivated many of the business owners in his organization to engage immediately with Congress members to discuss ways to end the impasse. He said he and others are considering ways to counter the impact of “far right groups” that threaten Republican members and their leaders in the House and Senate.
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Van Dongen is an avowed conservative who backs Republicans. But like other business leaders, he is upset about the brinksmanship strategy of tea party Republicans.
“Leadership and rank-and-file Republicans are scared to death of far-right groups who threaten to challenge them in primaries because they are not 100 percent pure,” he said.
Van Dongen said that although the long-term goals of tea party candidates may sometimes align with his own, their tactics could disrupt the domestic and global economies.
Business leaders are now casting doubt on the strategy employed by tea party candidates and their backers, including the Club for Growth, Freedom Works and Heritage Action.
At the Washington offices of the International Franchise Association, president Steve Caldeira said his members are angered by the impasse in Washington, which has already proved costly. ... “We will now place a premium on supporting Republicans who have consistently spoken out against the perils of a shutdown and default,” he said. “ . . . The franchise industry will become even more focused on identifying candidates who are not going to Washington just to be obstructionist or isolationist but will go to Washington to legislate and govern in a bipartisan manner, which is what they were elected to do.”
Also on Saturday, the Arizona Republic similarly reported, Shutdown straining ties between businesses, GOP:
The ongoing federal government shutdown is straining the oft cozy relationship between the business community and the Republican Party.
And the growing possibility that the country could soon default on its debt is only adding to the tension.
Arizona’s GOP congressmen — U.S. Reps. Matt Salmon, David Schweikert, Trent Franks and Paul Gosar — tout their pro-business credentials. But they are part of a conservative group of Republicans in the House of Representatives that is continuing to play hardball on a budget deal, much to the business community’s chagrin.
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“The country is still pulling out of its toughest economic downturn since the Great Depression. Why take any chances that federal government actions could reverse some of the positive economic progress we’ve made over the last three years?” said Glenn Hamer, president of the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Instead, Hamer thinks Republicans should agree to a “clean” continuing resolution that would end the shutdown and put federal employees back to work with no strings attached. And President Barack Obama, he said, should commit himself to cutting the nation’s debt in exchange for a debt-ceiling increase.
Geezus Glenn, pay attention, will ya? Obama has already cut the federal deficit at the fastest rate since the end of World War II. The federal deficit is falling (you wouldn't know this from the corporate media). I know it is hard for you to stop parroting GOPropaganda talking points, but try!
“[Arizona is] bearing a disproportionate brunt of the effects of the partial shutdown,” Hamer said.
As a result, many of the same business groups to which Arizona Republicans have close ties are publicly pressuring the House GOP to put an end to the political brinkmanship. For example:
The head of the American Bankers Association said defaulting on the country’s $17 trillion debt could cost hundreds of billions and ordinary Americans would suffer. “Using the debt ceiling as leverage in the deficit debate is unwise and dangerous,” the association president said. The bankers association is a top donor to Schweikert.
The National Federation of Independent Business sent a letter to lawmakers, calling on them to avoid default. Gosar touted the federation’s campaign endorsement last year.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce called reopening the government and raising the debt ceiling “must-pass legislation.” During Salmon’s bid to return to Congress in 2012, he pointed to awards from the chamber as proof he was pro-business.
Honeywell’s chief executive was more blunt than most business leaders, who continue to call on both sides to compromise. “It’s clearly this faction within the Republican Party that’s causing the issue right now,” CEO David Cote told the New York Times. Honeywell is Franks’ top donor, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.
Despite the business groups’ views, Schweikert and Gosar believe fears of a default-related catastrophe are overblown. Franks did not respond to several requests for an interview, but he also has said Democrats are exaggerating debt-limit consequences.
Salmon believes Republicans must use the debt ceiling as leverage because he doesn’t trust Democrats to compromise on things like reforming Social Security and Medicare.
As I said the other day, "To some extent, the Chamber itself, along with other lobbying groups, helped create the conditions for Washington’s impasse." Exactly! The GOP establishment business community has got to stop enabling and empowering the GOP crazy base with its money and support.
In some parts of the country, “tea party” Republicans are now facing more moderate campaign challengers propped up by the local business establishment.
But so far, Arizona’s Republican House members appear safe in next year’s midterm elections. Each represents a solidly GOP district and, despite the heartburn they’re giving business leaders, none faces a campaign opponent. [Yet.]
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Arizona Republicans are proud their views aren’t in line with “big business” groups like the U.S. Chamber.
Where's the love? "It is time for a Grand Alliance between Democrats, establishment Republicans, and centrist moderates in a united front" against the far-right radical extremist elements of the Tea Party.
UPDATE: A must-read post on Arizona's millionaire GOP Congressmen who are "Default Deniers," from Steve Muratore at the Arizona Eagletarian. Why is Corporate Media giving Schweikert a pass on vigorous debt ceiling advocacy?