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Verizon Wades Into Debt Ceiling Debate

Wed, 07/20/2011 - 8:17am
Maisie Ramsay

Verizon Communications CEO Ivan Seidenberg has joined a group of top executives calling on the government to resolve the increasingly contentious debate over the nation's debt ceiling.

Republicans have threatened to block an increase to the country's debt ceiling, which could throw the U.S. into default on its debt, unless Democrats agree to make deep spending cuts. Democrats have resisted the cuts, favoring a mix of solutions including tax increases.

In the letter to President Barack Obama and members of Congress, Seidenberg and more than 800 other U.S. executives called on the government to "put its fiscal house in order" and reach a resolution on the debt ceiling issue, as well as come up with a long-term plan to reduce the nation's debt.

"The debt ceiling trigger does offer a needed catalyst for serious negotiations on budget discipline but avoiding even a technical default is essential," executives stated in the letter. "This is a risk our country must not take."

The statement was delivered last week on behalf of public policy group Business Roundtable, and Seidenberg's participation was announced to the public yesterday on Verizon's official blog.

The executives warned that a default on the nation's debt "would risk both disarray in those markets and a host of unintended consequences." Federal treasury securities would be affected by the default, with ripple effects felt in nearly every aspect of lending from mortgages to credit cards and student loans.

Verizon plans to continue to comment on the country's financial issues in a series of blogs from its public affairs chief Tom Tauke.

"To me, the looming debt crisis is a severe threat to our nation," Tauke said in a statement. "Therefore, it is an issue vital to every citizen and every enterprise. It's about saving our Republic. So we all need to understand the issue and engage in the process of resolving it."

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