State chamber joins 200+ state, local chambers urging lawmakers to act quickly, address entitlements

OLYMPIA — With just 46 days remaining in the 2012 calendar year, Congress must act soon to avoid a fiscal disaster with the approaching fiscal cliff.

That’s the essence of a letter signed by the Association of Washington Business, U.S. Chamber of Commerce and more than 200 state and local chambers urging the president and Congress to get to work resolving our nation’s crushing debt problems before the year concludes and major tax consequences take effect.

“The elections are over and the both Congress and the president must deal with the deficit hangover that is gripping the nation,” said AWB President Don Brunell. “We have just 46 days to do something or we go over the fiscal cliff. That would be extremely harmful to all of us and our nation and could be devastating to the country for years to come. We need only look across the Atlantic to countries like Greece, Spain and France to see the troubles their debt crises have caused,” he added.

“We need to get this right, not just for today, but for the sake of our children and grandchildren.”

At the heart of the matter are entitlement programs and the growing number of people who will be tapping into these programs. The letter states:

“As Congress and the Administration work to resolve America’s growing financial challenges and escalating debt, they must begin to fundamentally restructure these entitlement programs.  The undersigned organizations recognize that these issues are daunting ones, but the demographic facts, the fundamental reality of a broken financing mechanism combined with extending life expectancy and, 77 million more people entering these programs require taking action now.

Read the full text of the letter here.

About the Association of Washington Business

Formed in 1904, the Association of Washington Business is Washington’s oldest and largest statewide business association, and includes more than 8,000 members representing 700,000 employees. AWB serves as both the state’s chamber of commerce and the manufacturing and technology association. While its membership includes major employers like Boeing, Microsoft and Weyerhaeuser, 90 percent of AWB members employ fewer than 100 people. More than half of AWB’s members employ fewer than 10. For more about AWB, visit

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