More important, Republican leaders are facing growing pressure from traditional allies outside of Congress, many of whom clearly view the fight as damaging for the country and suicidal for the party. Business groups like the Chamber of Commerce have been urging Republicans to back down on the debt ceiling for weeks now. As The New York Times's Jackie Calmes reports, it's creating an unusual shifting of alliances, with the White House asking business leaders directly to lobby Republicans on the matter. The piece quotes David Cote, the Republican CEO of Honeywell, as saying: "I'm agreeing with the president – you should not be using the debt limit as a bargaining chip when it comes to how you run the country."
Likewise, Tuesday, The Financial Times's Stephanie Kirchgaessner reported that the conservative activist group Americans for Prosperity – backed by the billionaire Koch brothers – also came out in favor of raising the debt ceiling, with a sharp warning that Republicans were losing the messaging battle. Tim Phillips, president of AFP told the paper: "We're saying calibrate your message. Focus on overspending instead of long-term debt."