Credit Agency to U.S.: This is A Warning

Posted: Jun 02, 2011 6:39 PM

The American people aren't the only ones getting frustrated by the lack of progress on the Senate budget and debt limit negotiations. Moody's, one of the top credit agencies, warned lawmakers on Capitol Hill today that the United States' credit rating could be downgraded if a deal isn't made soon that seriously addresses the current economic/debt crisis.

Moody's Investor's Service said it would place the government's Aaa rating under review for a possible downgrade due to the "very small but rising risk" of a short-lived default if the White House and Republican leaders can't agree on raising the nation's debt ceiling, which has already hit $14.3 trillion.

Moody's announcement followed the lead set by S&P, which announced in April that it was downgrading the U.S. credit outlook to negative over the nation's mounting debt.

The news was just the latest sign of the massive financial problems facing the nation as the economy's recovery sputters. It also gave Republicans fresh ammunition to use against President Obama, whose 2012 re-election hopes likely hinge on how many Americans can find work in the next year.

"Today's announcement from Moody's simply reinforces the position already announced by S&P and a clear bipartisan majority in the House of Representatives," said Rep. Dave Camp, R-Mich., chairman of the Ways and Means Committee. "House Republicans have put forward bold solutions to deal with this crisis and it is time for the president to come to the table and join us in talking about specific policy solutions."

"This report makes clear that if we let this opportunity pass without real deficit reduction, America’s financial standing will be at risk. A credible agreement means the spending cuts must exceed the debt limit increase. The White House needs to get serious right now about dealing with our deficit and debt," added House Speaker John Boehner.

The Moody's announcement comes on a wave of bad economic news that has surfaced this week: home prices hit their lowest level in nine years; jobless claims remain stuck at a level that signals weak job growth; manufacturing grew at the slowest pace in 20 months and businesses sharply cut spending in April on computers, machinery and other long-last goods.


House Republicans passed a budget weeks ago, it's time for Senate Democrats, who haven't even introduced a budget for 763 (and counting) days, to put something on the table. If you're wondering where the White House is on this process, Obama's budget was unanimously rejected 0-97 last week.