AT&T CEO: 'Unthinkable' to breach debt ceiling

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"In fact, even the discussion of default poses great risk to our economy and to our country. It is imperative to our Nation that the overwhelming majority of our public officials who recognize this reality unite their efforts, regardless of party, to bring a responsible solution forward,” he said. 

President Obama has urged Wall Street and business executives to put pressure on congressional Republicans to agree to a debt ceiling increase without tying it to other policy issues. 

This year, Stephenson made the maximum contribution of $5,200 to House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and donated $10,000 to the Republican Party of Ohio, according to public disclosures. He also gave $32,400 to the National Republican Congressional Committee.

Republicans have considered a variety of demands to raise the debt ceiling. President Obama has said he will refuse to negotiate over the issue, and he would only negotiate over government funding levels if Republicans first agree to end the shutdown and raise the debt limit. 

The United States is set to hit its borrowing limit Oct. 17, according to the Treasury Department.