Following the S&P downgrade of the U.S. long-term credit rating in August 2011 and a warning from Moody's that it would follow suit if nothing is done to tame the current debt trajectory, another international ratings authority -- Fitch Ratings -- announced on Tuesday that it might also downgrade the U.S.'s credit rating. In its announcement, Fitch cited concern about the uncertainty over how Treasury would prioritize payments, how President Obama and Congress will address structural deficits, and how Washington will follow through on previously-agreed to spending cuts.
Congressman Huelskamp, who has been sounding the alarm on downgrade threats since April 2011 -- well before the last debt deal, issued the following statement about these warnings.
"Two weeks ago we said that the announcement from Moody's should not fall on deaf ears; the same can be said for today's warning from Fitch Ratings. The gravity of America's fiscal crisis cannot be overstated, and Washington owes it to taxpayers and to the next generation to assume responsibility for fixing the mess Washington created. These warnings are not about politics, but rather about policies that impact the overall health of the economy. President Obama and Congress must, above all else, address the underlying cause of this threat: massive deficit spending. Any debt limit increase should include short-, medium-, and long-term solutions to the overspending problem."
"The Treasury Secretary and President Obama should immediately inform America, Congress, and creditors about how they plan to prioritize payments. And, they should stop misleading Americans about the threat of default. There is plenty of revenue each month to cover critical obligations -- including interest on the debt. It is unforgiveable that the President plays on the fears of Americans with deception about something he can and should easily prevent."