WASHINGTON---In the wake of the Standard & Poor's downgrade--the first in U.S. history, Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) called for Congress to return from its five-week vacation to deal with escalating borrowing. S & P cited the political wrangling over raising the debt ceiling as a part of its reason for lowering the nation's credit rating from AAA to AA+
Kirk tweeted, "President should recall Congress to reduce borrowing."
Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), who has been leading bi-partisan compromise efforts said in a statement the downgrade was partly the result of "political gamesmanship."
White House Press Secretary James Carney in a statement noted that the path to the deal to raise the debt ceiling took too long and at times was "too divisive."
READ THE STANDARD & POOR'S REPORT ON WHY THEY LOWERED THE U.S. RATING HERE
THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
Statement from the Press Secretary
The President believes it is important that our elected leaders come together to strengthen our economy and put our nation on a stronger fiscal footing. The bipartisan compromise on deficit reduction was an important step in the right direction. Yet, the path to getting there took too long and was at times too divisive. We must do better to make clear our nation's will, capacity and commitment to work together to tackle our major fiscal and economic challenges. Over the past weeks and months the President repeatedly called for substantial deficit reduction through both long-term entitlement changes and revenues through tax reform, with additional measures to spark jobs and strengthen our recovery. That is why the President pushed for a grand bargain that would include all of these elements and require compromise and cooperation from all sides. Over the coming weeks the President will strongly encourage the bipartisan fiscal committee as well as all members of Congress to put our common commitment to a stronger recovery and a sounder long-term fiscal path above our political and ideological differences.
DURBIN STATEMENT ON S&P DOWNGRADE OF US CREDIT RATING
[SPRINGFIELD, IL] - US Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) released the following statement after the S&P downgraded the US credit rating from AAA to AA+:
"S&P's decision to downgrade the US credit rating due to our ongoing debt crisis is unfortunate and underscores the need for a balanced, bipartisan and comprehensive solution to the problem. In the coming weeks, a Joint Committee of Congress will begin its work to reach just such an agreement. Their work will be incredibly important and must balance spending cuts with revenue increases."
"Last night's downgrade is also a political one. Partisan gamesmanship over the debt has left global markets, rating agencies and the American public searching for stability. Until we agree that bipartisan leadership is the only path forward, our economy and America's faith in its leaders will continue to be at risk of downgrade."
Last year, Senator Durbin served on the President's Bipartisan Fiscal Commission and voted to support its debt reduction proposal. Since January, Durbin has worked with a bipartisan group of Senators, in a group known as the "Gang of Six," to craft a proposal to cut the nation's debt by $4 trillion over the next 10 years.