Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz launches petition to reopen the government

Starbucks Budget Battle (FILE - In this March 20, 2013 file photo, Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz speaks at the company's annual s
Starbucks founder and CEO Howard Schultz is calling on business leaders and his employees and customers to help gather signatures for a petition that urges Congress to reopen the government, pay its debts on time and pass a long-term budget deal by the end of the year.

In an interview with Howard Fineman of the The Huffington Post, Schultz said Republicans are more to blame for the current stalemate between the two parties. 'The parties are unequal in how the problem has been created,' he told The Huffington Post, adding, 'but both are equally responsible for trying to come up with a solution.'

Earlier this week, Schultz pledged the coffee chain would give a free cup of coffee to any customer in the US who buys another person a beverage at Starbucks as a way of setting an example to elected officials of how people can come together. So, where'd the idea for the petition come from? Turns out it was inspired by discussions with people from both sides of the aisle.

The Huffington Post reports that Schultz 'decided to launch the petition drive after discussing the idea with one of President Barack Obama's top advisers, Valerie Jarrett, as well as with House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Senate Budget Committee Chairman Patty Murray (D-Wash.).' Schultz also told The Huffington Post that he talked with more than a dozen CEOs of 'Dow 30' companies and that they 'are 100 percent concerned and as outraged as I am.'

The petition can be signed in Starbucks stores around the country and online, or simply scroll down and sign the petition right here on this page. And how is the petition going so far?

'Hours into our effort, more than 1 million citizens have signed the Come Together petition online and in our stores,' Starbucks V.P. of global digital marketing said in an email to 'This early response reflects how much the petition is resonating with everyday Americans who want our leaders to act with civility and reach a compromise. We want to thank our partners, our customers and the other companies, like AOL and Caterpillar, who are joining us in this effort.'
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