(Update) Time to build the Grand Alliance


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[.]

* * *

[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.

* * *

[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.

* * *

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

* * *

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.

* * *

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.

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

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

* * *

“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.

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

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.]

* * *

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?

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AZ BlueMeanie
The Blue Meanie is an Arizona citizen who wishes, for professional reasons, to remain anonymous when blogging about politics. Armed with a deep knowledge of the law, politics and public policy, as well as pen filled with all the colors stolen from Pepperland, the Blue Meanie’s mission is to pursue and prosecute the hypocrites, liars, and fools of politics and the media – which, in practical terms, is nearly all of them. Don’t even try to unmask him or he’ll seal you in a music-proof bubble and rendition you to Pepperland for a good face-stomping. Read blog posts by the infamous and prolific AZ Blue Meanie here.