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Dems, GOP react to debt downgrade

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is seen during a news conference on debt ceiling legislation, on July 27, 2011, on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. Getty Images/Karen Bleier

(CBS/AP) Following the news Friday of Standard and Poor's downgrade on the U.S. debt, several politicians from both sides of the aisle offered their reactions.

Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid released a statement: "This makes the work of the joint committee all the more important, and shows why leaders should appoint members who will approach the committee's work with an open mind -- instead of hardliners who have already ruled out the balanced approach that the markets and rating agencies like S&P are demanding."

Reid was referring to the special bipartisan congressional committee-- made up of six Democrats and six Republicans -- assigned to the task of recommending further deficit and debt reduction ideas.

S&P downgrades U.S. debt
S & P statement on U.S. debt downgrade
Treasury Dept.: Downgrade flawed by $2-Trillion error

Republican Speaker of the House John Boehner offered his take on the downgrade in a statement: "This decision by S&P is the latest consequence of the out-of-control spending that has taken place in Washington for decades. The spending binge has resulted in job-destroying economic uncertainty and now threatens to send destructive ripple effects across our credit markets."

He added: "Republicans remain committed to ensuring the United States always meets its obligations. Though we are outnumbered in Washington, we will continue to press Democrats to join us in taking meaningful steps to rein in our debt and deficits."

Also reacting to the news was U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk, who says President Barack Obama should recall Congress to improve the recently-passed $2 trillion deficit reduction plan.

The Illinois Republican says a recall of Congress by the president would reassure the markets. The Dow fell 5.8 percent this week, losing 513 points on Thursday alone.

Kirk said he believes the nation faces difficult times ahead, noting interest rates on home and auto loans and credit cards could go up "if we just sit back and watch things happen."

Some of the 2012 Republican presidential hopefuls also chimed in. Former House speaker Newt Gingrinch offered his opinion on the debt downgrade via his Twitter account: "The Obama disaster continues. Highest food stamp level and lowest credit rating in history in the same 24 hours."

Mitt Romney, another GOP candidate with an eye towards the White House, said on Friday: "America's creditworthiness just became the latest casualty in President Obama's failed record of leadership on the economy. Standard & Poor's rating downgrade is a deeply troubling indicator of our country's decline under President Obama."

Romney's fellow challenger, Michele Bachmann, said of President Obama: "This President has destroyed the credit rating of the United States through his failed economic policies and his inability to control government spending by raising the debt ceiling."

A Treasury Department spokesperson commented about S&P's decision: "A judgment flawed by a $2-trillion error speaks for itself."

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