Financial Services Forum President and CEO Rob Nichols said that hitting the debt ceiling “would bring upon us significant economic damage” and generally, the country defaulting on its debt should be “taken off the table.”

But when it comes to the fiscal cliff debate, “it is going to be up to those who are negotiating to arrive at their terms,” Nichols said.” I don’t think it’s helpful for business groups to be prescriptive on negotiation rules and what should and shouldn’t be a part of it.”

“The 2011 debt limit negotiations were a defining moment for us,” said Aric Newhouse, senior vice president for policy and government relations at the National Association of Manufacturers. “Manufacturers don’t want to see a repeat of a process that could lead to another downgrade.”

The Business Roundtable has advocated for a cliff deal that would address the debt limit. And U.S. Chamber of Commerce government affairs executive vice president Bruce Josten has said it makes sense to address the debt limit while negotiating fiscal cliff spending issues since they’re related.