Ford CEO urges Washington to quickly reach deficit deal

Lawmakers are trying to reach an agreement before Dec. 31, when lower Bush-era tax-rates are sent to expire and more than $1 billion in spending cuts agreed to by Congress and the White House last year go into effect.

Talks appeared to reach an impasse this weekend after Republicans rejected an initial White House offer and Speaker John BoehnerJohn Andrew Boehner4 reasons Mike Pompeo will succeed at Foggy Bottom The misunderstood reason Congress can’t get its job done GOP sees McCarthy moving up — if GOP loses the House MORE (R-Ohio) said negotiations were at a "stalemate."

Mulally added that allowing the country to go over the fiscal cliff could have ramifications for the auto industry’s sales.

“In the automobile business, it’s such a big decision for the consumer next to their home, so it’s a very lead indicator of how people are feeling,” he said. “The most important thing about this fiscal cliff is it could result in less discretionary income for the consumer, which could have an impact on the economy, so it’s important that we come together on a solution.”

Mulally was one of a group of business leaders that was invited to the White House to meet with President Obama as deficit talks began.

The Ford CEO declined to discuss what was said in the meeting, but he called the session with the president “constructive.”

Mulally was joined at the White House on Wednesday by executives from companies such as American Express, Wal-Mart, General Electric and Procter & Gamble.

The meeting was an effort by Obama to reset his relationship with the business community after an often contentious first term and rally public support amid the contentious talks.