Debt limit fight put business community at odds with Tea Party

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) answers questions from the media after meeting with Republican senators regarding a bipartisan solution for the pending budget and debt limit impasse at the U.S. Capitol October 16, 2013 in Washington, DC.

The partial government shutdown and debt ceiling fight in Congress have set the stage for a brewing GOP fight between more establishment candidates and the Tea Party wing ahead of the 2014 congressional elections.

The business community helped elect some of the Tea Party types who pushed to shut down the government and not raise the debt ceiling. But business groups also had a lot at stake in the debt ceiling fight, and were really worried about financial instability. 

When deciding whom to support in next year’s elections, business groups will look closely at how candidates voted on the shutdown and debt ceiling.

“What is the candidate’s position when it comes to funding the government?” asked Scott Talbott, senior vice president for public policy at the Financial Services Roundtable. “What is the candidate’s position when it comes to the debt ceiling? And what is the candidate’s position on what the fiscal health of the U.S. should be, and the steps they would take to achieve that?”

However, Talbott didn’t say that a candidate’s vote on the shutdown and debt ceiling will be a litmus test for his group. After all, the business community could be funding Tea Party opponents in GOP primaries next year. And Talbott also emphasized that his group will be giving to Democrats, too.

About the author

Nancy Marshall-Genzer is a senior reporter for Marketplace based in Washington, D.C. covering daily news.

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