NOW: Wisconsin CEOs signed request to raise debt ceiling

An impressive cadre of Wisconsin corporate executives recently stepped up to sign a letter requesting President Barack Obama and every member of Congress to increase the national debt ceiling and commit to a deficit reduction plan that is long-term, predictable and binding.

“Now is the time for our political leaders to put aside partisan differences and act in the nation’s best interests,” said the letter, which was signed by several associations including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Business Roundtable (BRT), the Financial Services Forum, the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), and the Partnership for New York City. “We believe that our nation’s economic future is reliant upon their actions and urge them to reach an agreement. It is time to pull together rather than pull apart.”

The Wisconsin executives who signed the letter included: Paul Jones, chairman and CEO of A.O. Smith Corp. in Wauwatosa; Dennis Slater, president of the Association of Equipment Manufacturers in Milwaukee; Frank Jaehnert, president and CEO of Brady Corp. in Milwaukee; David Pringle, president and CEO of Broan-Nutone LLC in Hartford; Harold Boyanovsky, president and CEO of Case New Holland Inc. in Racine; Douglas Grimm, chairman, president and CEO of Grede Holdings LLC in Milwaukee; Edward Emma, president and chief operating officer of Jockey International Inc. in Kenosha; Stephen Roell, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Johnson Controls Inc. in Glendale; Glen Tellock, president and CEO of The Manitowoc Company Inc. in Manitowoc; Thomas Burke, president and CEO of Modine Manufacturing Co. in Racine; Thomas Riordan, president and CEO of Neenah Enterprises Inc. in Neenah; Joel Quadracci, chairman, president and CEO of Quad/Graphics Inc. in Sussex; Mark Gliebe, president and CEO of Regal Beloit Corp. in Beloit; Nicholas Pinchuk, chairman, president and CEO of Snap-on Inc., Kenosha; and Donald Payne Jr., Spuncast Inc., Watertown.

Executives of companies with strong Wisconsin ties who signed the letter included: Doug Oberhelman, chairman and CEO of Caterpillar Inc., which recently acquired Oak Creek-based Bucyrus International Inc.; Thomas Quinlan, president and CEO of R.R. Donnelley & Sons Inc., which operates plants in the Fox Valley; Dennis Treacy, senior vice president, Smithfield Foods Inc., which owns Patrick Cudahy Inc.; Ivan Seidenberg, chairman and CEO of Verizon Communications; Alexander Cutler, chairman and CEO of Eaton Corp. in Milwaukee; and Angela Braly, chair, president and CEO of WellPoint Inc.

“An unprecedented default on the nation’s bills would have dire consequences for our economy, our markets, and Main Street Americans,” said U.S. Chamber president and CEO Thomas Donohue. “Businesses are interested in deficit reduction solutions that help unleash the investment potential of the private sector, leading to economic growth, job creation, and enhanced revenues.”

“The business community in large numbers is saying to our leaders in Washington, ‘Do your job,'” said Business Roundtable president John Engler. “Failure to raise the debt ceiling would strike an immediate and serious blow to any economic recovery, and failure to make significant progress on long-term debt reduction will continue the uncertainty which is hampering our investment climate.  To invest and create jobs, business needs certainty; when our leaders step up to our nation’s obligations they signal that we choose to move forward. That can only mean more jobs for America.”

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