Club for Growth, MoveOn Groups Oppose Debt Ceiling Deal

Club for Growth, an anti-tax group, and MoveOn.org, a pro-entitlements group, both came out Monday in opposition to the debt ceiling compromise.

The statements issued by the two groups came amid a flurry of reactions from outside groups assessing the details of the agreement announced Sunday to cut the deficit by $2.1 trillion and raise the $14.3 debt ceiling.

Club for Growth, an organization that has funded primary challenges to Republican members of Congress, said it would highlight the vote in its annual ratings. The organization cited the lack of a requirement for a balanced budget agreement to be sent to the states for consideration and the possibility of a recommendation for tax increases from a bipartisan committee charged with identifying about $1.5 trillion in deficit reduction by late this year.

The Club for Growth concluded the deal “simply doesn’t fix the country’s fiscal problems.”

The Tea Party-aligned group FreedomWorks, headed by former House Majority Leader Dick Armey, a Texas Republican, said the bill is “not the serious reform Tea Partiers demanded last November” in the 2010 elections, according to a statement by president Matt Kibbe.

Business groups often allied with Republicans, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors, and National Association of Manufacturers, endorsed the legislation. So did the Business Roundtable, an association of chief executive officers.

‘Responsible’ Path

“This deal raises the debt limit to meet our obligations,” said John Engler, president of the roundtable and a former Republican governor of Michigan. “It has spending cuts and sets in motion a process to put our country on a responsible fiscal path.”

Representatives of the American Bankers Association, the Financial Services Roundtable, the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association, and other banking and insurance trade groups sent a letter today to congressional leaders commending them for reaching the debt deal and endorsing it.

‘Grave Consequences’

“Failure to take action will have grave consequences for American consumers, businesses and our economy,” the letter said. “We believe that this agreement will restore market confidence while putting ourselves on a path toward long-lasting fiscal sustainability.”

MoveOn Executive Director Justin Ruben said the agreement “unfairly asks seniors and the middle class to bear the burden of the debt deal.”

The group, with five million members, provided grassroots support to Obama in the 2008 election.

Also criticizing the deal was the National Organization for Women, whose president, Terry O’Neill, called the deal “a serious blow to women’s economic security.”

One of the unions representing federal workers, the National Treasury Employees Union, applauded that Obama and congressional leaders reached an agreement aimed at avoiding a government default.

President Colleen Kelly said in a statement, though, that “the impact on the federal workforce remains uncertain and agencies are likely to face reductions in their budgets.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Jonathan D. Salant in Washington at jsalant@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Mark Silva at msilva34@bloomberg.net.

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