actually benefit their bottom lines in the long run.
For now, however, the focus is on reaching a deal by end of the year rather than a broad tax overhaul. At the White House, the outreach effort is being led by Ms. Jarrett, and she has been joined in the meetings with executives and bankers by Timothy F. Geithner, the secretary of the Treasury; Jeffrey Zients, the head of the Office of Management and Budget; and Gene Sperling, director of the National Economic Council.
The White House arranged calls on Dec. 3 and on Monday for chief executives who attended the earlier sessions with the president, updating them on the negotiations and reiterating the need for their support. Among the participants were Lloyd C. Blankfein, the chief executive of Goldman Sachs; Randall Stephenson, the chief executive of AT&T, and Marriott’s chief executive, Arne Sorenson.
Some chief executives, like Mr. Blankfein, who have been relatively outspoken in recent weeks about the need for tax increases, are viewed as relative liberals in the business community.
But others who reversed course Tuesday, like Doug Oberhelman of Caterpillar, are seen as more conservative politically and suggest an important shift in the political landscape in terms of tax policy.
Another more conservative executive who signed a letter to Congress and the president from the Business Roundtable was Rex W. Tillerson, the chief executive of Exxon.
“Compromise will require Congress to agree on more revenue — whether by increasing rates, eliminating deductions, or some combination thereof — and the administration to agree to larger, meaningful structural and benefit entitlement reforms and spending reductions that are a fiscally responsible multiple of increased revenues,” said the letter, signed by more than 100 chief executives.
Besides Mr. Cote, several other prominent chiefs joined the call with reporters organized by the Business Roundtable, including Andrew N. Liveris of Dow Chemical, Jeffrey R. Immelt of G.E. and Alexander Cutler of Eaton.
Small businesses also appear anxious about the fiscal impasse. On Tuesday, the National Federation of Independent Business reported that its Small Business Optimism Index had one of its steepest declines ever in November.
The net percentage of business owners