Wall Street lobbies Congress to end stalemate over budget, debt

(CBS News) WASHINGTON - Business leaders have found themselves allied with some traditional foes on finance: Democrats. Together they're pressuring Republicans to end the budget and debt impasse.

Heavy hitters on Wall Street are looking to persuade Congress with lobbyists like Scott Talbott who represents Citibank, Wells Fargo and Visa.

"Every day that we're up there talking to somebody is a constant continuous drumbeat to deliver the message," Talbott said.

Scott Talbott
CBS News

Talbott was at a White House meeting of big-business lobbyists Friday. Obama administration officials urged them to press lawmakers for a negotiated solution to the fiscal standoff.

The Chamber of Commerce, in the same White House meeting, joined the United Way and the AFL-CIO and sent a letter to every member of Congress. It urges they end the shutdown immediately because "no one benefits" and "everyone will be harmed if the government defaults."

"The challenge comes in talking to members who don't necessarily agree with all or part of what we're trying to relay and don't necessarily understand or see or agree with our position about the need to get it done," Talbott said.

Wall Street
CBS News

Are those mostly Republicans?

"They're on both sides," he said. "Both sides of the aisle."

Business groups lobby Congress
CBS News

Members of both political parties are inclined to pay attention because these groups are major campaign contributors. The AFL-CIO spearheaded $22 million dollars in campaign contributions in the last election, most of it for Democrats. The bankers, insurance and real estate sector gave a record $665 million dollars with a heavy tilt toward the GOP.

Defense contractors Lockheed Martin, Boeing and General Dynamics are also busy on the Hill trying to end the shutdown. The defense industry gave $27 million to candidates in the last election.

Complete coverage of the government shutdown is here.
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    Sharyl Attkisson is a CBS News investigative correspondent based in Washington.