The business community applauds the bi-partisan efforts of President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Speaker of the House John Boehner and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi for the passage of legislation to raise the national debt ceiling and reduce the federal deficit. These leaders persevered to find the middle ground in a very contentious debate that had the nation wondering if it was still possible to compromise on any issue in Washington, D.C. 

During the past two weeks, the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce has been part of a national business coalition — headed up by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce — that has been urging Congress to find a solution to raise the debt ceiling and begin the process of reducing the national debt. We joined that coalition because the risk of not raising the debt ceiling and the long-term danger of not reducing the deficit were both too great to ignore.

As was obvious in the debt ceiling debate, those who lead and search for a solution based on the middle ground are often criticized by their supporters as selling out or being too quick to compromise. When supporters of any elected official hold that official to the standard of 100 percent agreement with their position and urge them to not compromise under any circumstances, we create a democracy that is unworkable. And we deny elected officials the ability to serve in the best interests of the entire constituency they represent. At the end of this, a strong majority supported the bi-partisan solution, and for that we are grateful.   

Thank you to these leaders and to all of those who played critical roles behind the scenes. You have honestly addressed a short and long term national crisis, and have given America hope that gridlock and paralysis are not the inevitable result in all complex and highly charged political debates.