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BRT Letter to House, Senate Leadership on Debt Limit

The Honorable Harry Reid
Majority Leader
United States Senate
Washington, DC  20510

The Honorable John Boehner
Speaker
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, DC  20515

The Honorable Mitch McConnell
Minority Leader
United States Senate
Washington, DC  20510

The Honorable Nancy Pelosi
Minority Leader
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, DC  20515

Dear Leaders:

Business Roundtable urges Congress to pass legislation to raise the statutory debt ceiling.  As we begin 2014, business leaders have been regaining confidence in the U.S. economy, but they remain concerned about policy setbacks that could slow or reverse the progress that has been made toward economic recovery.  Urgent action is required since the debt limit suspension period ends February 7, 2014, and extraordinary measures to permit ongoing federal borrowing are expected to last only a matter of weeks.

Any default by the federal government on its debts would cause devastating, long-lasting effects for all Americans.  Further, prolonged inaction that takes the government up to the precipice would foster uncertainty, dampen consumer and business confidence, risk higher borrowing costs, and could have immediate consequences for hiring and investment.

To be clear, we encourage Congress and the Administration to tackle the root causes of America’s unsustainable debt and pursue policies that set the country on a long-term path to growth and prosperity.  But in the near term policymakers should address the debt ceiling so they can focus on implementing policies more fundamental to fostering economic growth.  These include enacting tax reform, fixing America’s broken immigration system and passing modernized Trade Promotion Authority legislation to advance U.S. trade agreements. 

Business Roundtable urges Congress and the Administration to build on the success – and spirit of cooperation – of the December budget agreement by addressing the debt limit with deliberate and prompt action that will preserve the full faith and credit of the United States.

Sincerely,

Louis R. Chênevert
Chairman & Chief Executive Officer
United Technologies Corporation
Chair, Tax and Fiscal Policy Committee
Business Roundtable

Randall Stephenson
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
AT&T Inc.
Chairman
Business Roundtable