WASHINGTON - Credit rating agency Standard & Poor's said it will not downgrade the U.S. government's credit rating because a Congressional committee failed to come up with a plan to trim deficits by at least $1.2 trillion over the next decade.
S&P in August cut its rating of long-term U.S. Treasury securities by one notch from AAA to AA+, the first such downgrade of U.S. government debt in history.
In a brief statement Monday, S&P said it did not plan a further downgrade of the rating based on the supercommittee's failure to agree on a plan.
But S&P warned that its present rating is based on the expectation that automatic cuts will take effect in January 2013.
The supercommittee was created in August as part of the deal to raise the nation's debt limit. In addition to a $1 trillion in cuts agreed to then, the committee was tasked with finding $1.2 trillion in deficit reduction over the next 10 years. Since the committee was unable to reach agreement, $1.2 trillion in automatic cuts - divided equally among defense and domestic spending - is set to take effect starting in 2013.
Some Republicans are vowing to block the cuts to defense spending, but Mr. Obama said he would not accept that.
"One way or another we will be trimming the deficit by a total of at least $2.2 trillion over the next 10 years," he said. "The only way these spending cuts will not take place is if Congress gets back to work and agrees on a balanced plan to reduce the deficit by at least 1.2 trillion dollars. That's exactly what they need to do."