TO THE MEMBERS OF THE U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES:
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the world’s largest business federation representing the interests of more than three million businesses and organizations of all sizes, sectors, and regions, as well as state and local chambers and industry associations, and dedicated to promoting, protecting and defending America’s free enterprise system, urges the House of Representatives to pass H.J. Res. 59, the “Continuing Appropriations Resolution, 2014,” to ensure the uninterrupted funding of the federal government into the next fiscal year at spending levels consistent with P.L. 112-25, the Budget Control Act of 2011.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce fully recognizes the importance of restraining federal spending, both discretionary spending and mandatory spending, to reduce federal budget deficits, contain the growth of federal debt, and thereby re-establish fiscal discipline in the near-term and for the long haul. However, as the Department of Labor’s recent lackluster jobs report reminds us, the U.S. economy continues to underperform, reinforcing the need for the federal government to preserve its normal operations pending a successful outcome of broader budgetary reforms. It is not in the best interest of the U.S. business community or the American people to risk even a brief government shutdown that might trigger disruptive consequences or raise new policy uncertainties washing over the U.S. economy.
Likewise, the U.S. Chamber respectfully urges the House of Representatives to raise the debt ceiling in a timely manner and thus eliminate any question of threat to the full faith and credit of the United States government. Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew has indicated the Treasury may exhaust its borrowing capacity and cash management tools as early as mid-October.
The nation faces many serious fiscal issues on which the Congress and the President have thus far yet to reach agreement. These issues include correcting the unaffordable path of entitlement spending to stabilize federal finances and the need for fundamental tax reform to strengthen the American economy. These issues also include the need to correct the many grave deficiencies in the Affordable Care Act. The Chamber believes each of these and related issues demand immediate attention. The Chamber also asks the Congress to work to clear the individual spending bills so that the improvements and changes reflected in this year’s work may be signed into law.
It is readily apparent none of these important issues are ripe for resolution. We therefore urge the House to act promptly to pass a Continuing Resolution to fund the government and to raise the debt ceiling, and then to return to work on these other vital issues.
R. Bruce Josten