NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Bank of America ( BAC), Goldman Sachs ( GS), Morgan Stanley ( MS) and other Wall Street banks on Thursday urged President Obama and Congress to take action to avoid both a U.S. default and a downgrade, describing the consequences of either as "very grave."

In a letter signed by the heads of the major banks through the Financial Services Forum, the group urged Washington to "act this week to reach an agreement that will ensure that our Nation continues to meet all of its financial obligations, and that will entail meaningful and concrete steps to put our Nation on a sound fiscal footing."

"A default on our Nation's obligations, or a downgrade of America's credit rating, would be a tremendous blow to business and investor confidence - raising interest rates for everyone who borrows, undermining the value of the Dollar, and roiling stock and bond markets - and, therefore, dramatically worsening our Nation's already difficult economic circumstances," the letter added.

The Financial Services Forum is a self-described "non-partisan financial and economic policy organization" made up of the CEOs of 20 of the largest financial services institutions in the country.

The House of Representatives is expected vote Thursday on a bill brought forward by Republican House Speaker, John Boehner, which would raise the debt ceiling by enough to cover federal obligations for several months but would require a second vote to raise the ceiling again early next year. The Boehner plan also foresees budget cuts in the region of $914 billion.

It is as yet unclear as to whether Boehner has the support of enough of his GOP colleagues to carry the vote.

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