NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- The CEO of a Chattanooga-based online retailer has met with President Barack Obama at the White House to discuss the impact on businesses of the partial government shutdown and uncertainty over the looming debt ceiling deadline.
T.J. Gentle, who runs SmartFurniture.com, said he told the president that a six-week debt limit extension proposed by House Republicans would only renew debate and uncertainty among consumers during the holiday season.
Gentle said that such a move would be "devastating" for the retail industry and argued that negotiations should be delayed until sometime after the fourth quarter.
Gentle said he is a political independent. He said while he voted for the president, he also voted for U.S. Sen. Bob Corker and U.S. Rep. Chuck Fleischmann, both Republicans from Chattanooga.