*Government Shutdown

What Has the GOP Accomplished? Getting Disdain from Business

In the 10th day of the GOP government shutdown, Republicans are still no closer to their stated goal of dismantling the Affordable Care Act, but they have managed to accomplish something— receiving the disdain of the business community:

“As the government shutdown grinds toward a potential debt default, some of the country’s most influential business executives have come to a conclusion all but unthinkable a few years ago: Their voices are carrying little weight with the House majority that their millions of dollars in campaign contributions helped build and sustain.”

“Some warned that a default could spur a shift in the relationship between the corporate world and the Republican Party. Long intertwined by mutual self-interest on deregulation and lower taxes, the business lobby and Republicans are diverging not only over the fiscal crisis, but on other major issues like immigration reform, which was favored by business groups and party leaders but stymied in the House by many of the same lawmakers now leading the debt fight.”

“Joe Echevarria, the chief executive of Deloitte, the accounting and consulting firm, said, ‘I’m a Republican by definition and by registration, but the party seems to have split into two factions.  While both parties have extreme elements, he suggested, only in the G.O.P. did the extreme element exercise real power.

“‘There clearly are people in the Republican Party at the moment for whom the business community and the interests of the business community — the jobs and members they represent — don’t seem to be their top priority,’ said Dan Danner, the head of the National Federation of Independent Businesses… ‘They don’t really care what the N.F.I.B. thinks, and don’t care what the Chamber thinks, and probably don’t care what the Business Roundtable thinks.’

“In the two previous battles over the debt limit, many chief executives were reluctant to take sides, banding together in groups like Fix the Debt, which spent millions of dollars on a campaign urging Democrats and Republicans to work toward a ‘grand bargain’ on the budget. But with shutdown a reality, and the clock ticking toward default, some of those same executives now place the blame squarely on conservative Republicans in the House. ‘It’s clearly this faction within the Republican Party that’s causing the issue right now,’ said David M. Cote, the chief executive of Honeywell and a steering board member of Fix the Debt.”