WASHINGTON – What a difference a new job can make.
As a GOP presidential candidate in 2011, former Gov. Tim Pawlenty told Iowa voters, “I hope and pray and believe they [Congress] should not raise the debt ceiling.”
On Friday, as head of a major financial trade association in Washington, Pawlenty wrote top congressional leaders to ask that the borrowing limit be raised because, “It is critical for the U.S. government to not default on its fiscal obligations.”
Pawlenty now heads the Financial Services Roundtable, whose members include Bank of America, Citigroup and Visa.
The change of heart isn’t new. Ever since he took the Roundtable job last year, Pawlenty has called on Congress for debt ceiling increases. Large financial firms view the risk of any kind of government default with terror because it would likely lead to a sharp downturn in the stock market, a sudden rise in interest rates that would prompt a recession and overall contraction of business.
The Treasury Department says Congress must increase the borrowing limit by Oct. 17 so that it can meet the financial obligations Congress has already authorized.