You are herePolitico: Jeff Immelt, Tom Donohue: Make deal now

Politico: Jeff Immelt, Tom Donohue: Make deal now

-By Joseph Williams

July 11, 2011- The U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s president and the White House’s top business ally dialed up the pressure on President Barack Obama and Congress Monday to immediately make a deal on the government’s debt limit ceiling – or risk triggering more economic headaches.

As Obama and leaders on Capital Hill continued to wrestle with the issue, chamber president Tom Donohue and Jeffrey Immelt, CEO of General Electric, said uncertainty about the nation’s finances are key factors in the stalled economic recovery, 9 percent unemployment and the lackluster June jobs report.

Appearing at a jobs summit hosted by the chamber, Immelt and Donohue both said the lack of a deal has heightened an already uncertain climate for the business community, making Fortune 500 companies and small businesses alike reluctant to hire.

“We’ve got a very few days to fix this debt, or we’re going to be running around with very serious problems,” said Donohue during a wide-ranging question and answer session with reporters. While he expects Congress and the White House will strike a deal, Donohue said, politics on both sides are to blame for the current standoff.

Immelt, who chairs Obama’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness, said an agreement would go a long way toward calming the rough economic waters and getting the anemic recovery moving again.

“We need certainty about the debt ceiling and we need it now,” he said, pointing to complaints about intransigence each side has made about the other. “The sooner we can do it, that takes that much of a load off” and gives breathing room to small businesses who “wake up every morning in a sea of uncertainty. That’s what has to change.”



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