Business groups: Up debt ceiling now

Sixty business groups warned congressional leaders that it is "critical" America protect its reputation with investors worldwide.

A coalition of some of the nation's largest business groups delivered a simple, direct message to congressional leaders: Raise the debt limit, and do it promptly.

A failure to raise the debt limit could endanger the economic recovery in a significant way, and it is "critical" America protect its reputation with investors worldwide, 60 business groups warned top leaders in the House and Senate Wednesday.

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"With economic growth slowly picking up we cannot afford to jeopardize that growth with the massive spike in borrowing costs that would result if we defaulted on our obligations," the groups wrote in a letter, a copy of which was obtained by The Hill. "It is critically important that the United States stands fully behind its legal obligations."

Signers of the letter include some of the largest and most influential business groups in the nation, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Financial Services Roundtable, and the National Association of Manufacturers. The groups describe themselves as representing "a broad swath of the business community and whose members employ millions of Americans."

The business groups do note that while they want to see the limit go up without much drama, they also are "extremely concerned" about the size of the federal debt and large federal deficits.

"Tough calls on U.S. spending must be made as part of a debate about the budget and we agree that restoring balance to our fiscal position will require that the government spend less and spend more wisely," they wrote.

However, the groups steer clear of saying whether they want those calls to come as part of the debate over the debt limit, or tackled separately. Democrats and the White House have pushed for a clean increase to the $14.3 trillion debt limit free of any other provisions. And while GOP leaders have acknowledged the limit must go up, they are looking to extract concessions on spending in exchange for their support.

This post updated at 6:06 pm.