Big Biz, Tea Party Diverge in Debt Debate

Chamber seeks compromise, Tea Party says 'hell no'
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted May 17, 2011 2:15 AM CDT
Big Biz, Tea Party Diverge in Debt Debate
Tea Party activists say talk of the US defaulting on its debt is just scare tactics from the White House.   (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)

(Newser) – A rift between big business and the Tea Party movement is growing as the very real prospect of America defaulting on its debt looms, the Christian Science Monitor finds. The federal government hit the $14.3 trillion debt ceiling yesterday, and while Tea Party-backed lawmakers are sticking to their guns on cutting spending, their former allies among the business establishment want the government to simply raise the ceiling before funds run out.

The US Chamber of Commerce—representing many powerful business interests that rely on government contracts—is urging Republican lawmakers to seek compromise, a position the White House hopes to exploit as it searches for the votes to raise the debt ceiling. But Tea Partiers are digging in for major spending cuts. "Our message has not only been no, but hell no" to raising the debt limit," Tea Party Express chairwoman Amy Kremer tells ABC. (Read more Tea Party stories.)

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