"Ryan refers to the decision of Standard & Poors, the credit rating agency, to downgrade its score for U.S. Treasury obligations from AAA to AA+ on Aug. 5, 2011. That took place just four days after Congress voted to raise the federal debt ceiling, following lengthy negotiations in which House Republicans sought to force concessions from Obama and Senate Democrats as the price for raising the ceiling and averting the first default on Treasury debt payments in U.S. history.<quoted text>
"It is clear from Standard & Poors statement downgrading the federal governments credit rating that it places the blame squarely on Republican actions and policies.
In its report, Standard & Poors blamed both Republicans and Democrats for failing to come to agreement on spending cuts or revenue increases sufficient to reduce U.S. deficits significantly. It said:
S&P, Aug. 5, 2011: The political brinksmanship of recent months highlights what we see as Americas governance and policymaking becoming less stable, less effective, and less predictable than what we previously believed. The statutory debt ceiling and the threat of default have become political bargaining chips in the debate over fiscal policy.
Republicans and Democrats have only been able to agree to relatively modest savings on discretionary spending while delegating to the Select Committee [of Congress] decisions on more comprehensive measures. It appears that for now, new revenues have dropped down on the menu of policy options."