Big business to Republicans: stop screwing around

BIG BUSINESS TO REPUBLICANS: STOP SCREWING AROUND…. In recent weeks, the financial industry and Wall Street executives have pressed Republican leaders on raising the debt ceiling. As far as the industry is concerned, the GOP not only has to step up and do the responsible thing very soon, Republicans shouldn’t even talk about anything to the contrary.

As it turns out, Wall Street isn’t the only natural Republican constituency urging the party to stop screwing around.

The Obama administration will likely have the support of major business groups as it works to round up Republican votes for raising the federal debt ceiling.

Groups such as the National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors (NAW), the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) plan to step up their advocacy for a debt-limit increase as the deadline for congressional action draws closer.

Lobbyists for several major trade associations told The Hill that they have already had discussions with first-term House Republicans about the necessity of lifting the debt ceiling to avoid a default on U.S. debt.

For those who don’t keep up on the world of D.C. lobbying, it’s worth emphasizing that the National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and the National Association of Manufacturers are some of Republicans’ closest allies. These business powerhouse organizations tend to be staunch opponents of Democrats and the progressive agenda, and look at the GOP as a close ally, if not a partner.

And all of these business lobbying organizations are telling their Republican friends the same thing: raise the damn debt ceiling.

“We have been very upfront. We support an increase in the debt limit. We need to meet our obligations,” said Dorothy Coleman, vice president of tax and domestic economy policy for the NAM. “There is a huge downside to default.” […]

Business lobbyists didn’t mince words when describing what could happen to the economy if the country’s debt ceiling isn’t raised.

“This would be akin to a major international corporation just saying, ‘We are not going pay our bills next week’ — but multiply it a thousand-fold, a million-fold,” [NAW President Dirk Van Dongen] said.

It’s unusual when we see this much unanimity about a controversial policy measure. How often do Democratic leaders, Republican leaders, the Federal Reserve, Treasury officials, economists of all stripes, Wall Street, and Big Business lobbying powerhouses all say they want the same thing at the same time?

With all of this agreement, a resolution should be easy. Indeed, given how infrequently all of these institutions endorse the same idea, this seems like the sort of thing that could be wrapped up in an afternoon.

But when dealing with today’s congressional Republicans, nothing is ever easy. There’s no firm head-count just yet, but by all appearances, a significant chunk of the House and Senate GOP are willing to ignore the collective judgment of sane, self-interested people everywhere, and instead listen to right-wing activists who don’t really know what they’re talking about.