Business groups press for more action on budget issues

Business groups are urging Congress to move forward on comprehensive entitlement and tax reform as an avenue to a stronger economy. 

In the weeks ahead of the so-called "fiscal cliff" of tax increases and spending cuts, dozens of chief executives canvassed Capitol Hill pressing for a broad deal that would seek to solve the nation's greater fiscal challenges, including the debt limit. 

Nearly 200 CEOs signed a letter on Dec. 11 pressing for a comprehensive deal that would bolster economic growth. 

“We hope political leaders will now work continuously to agree on market-credible structural fiscal and spending reforms needed for America to compete in a modern global economy," BRT said. 

U.S. Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Thomas Donohue said when it comes to cutting spending and controlling the national debt, "this deal does not even begin to address the serious fiscal challenges we face."

Donohue, like most other business leaders, is specifically pressing for an overhaul of entitlement programs, comprehensive tax reform and a rapid expansion of U.S. energy.

"This is the only formula that can reduce budget deficits and control our unsustainable national debt," he said. 

Meanwhile, the stock markets reacted positively to final passage of the bill on Tuesday night — the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up more than 200 points through morning trading. 

“While the legislation passed last evening temporarily swerves America away from the fiscal cliff, another cliff now looms again just around the next corner,” said Tim Pawlenty, president and CEO for the Financial Services Roundtable.  

“We look forward to working with the Administration and the next Congress to address corporate tax reform, spending reform and the challenges posed by reaching the debt ceiling.”