Rep. Issa: US deserves to have credit downgraded if spending isn't addressed

The United States deserves to have its credit rating downgraded if the country can't get its spending and debt under control, a House Republican said Monday.

"Until we stop spending more, we should be downgraded," Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) said.

Issa, chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, emphasized that tackling the nation's long-term fiscal problems is the real priority in the deficit debate.

"It's absolute crap to think promises over 10 years mean anything. The only thing Americans can count on is, have we agreed to spend less this year? Period," Issa said on the "Imus in the Morning" show, which airs on the Fox Business Network.

The credit-rating agencies Moody’s Investors Service and Standard & Poor's both put the nation’s triple-A credit rating on review for a downgrade this month. The agencies warned that the U.S. might lose its perfect rating if the government defaulted on its debt or failed to take steps to address the deficit.

"If America can, in fact, pay its bills, it's AAA. If we can't pay our bills, it doesn't matter what rating they give us," Issa said. "Right now we can pay our bills, but we're heading toward the kind of spending and debt to where someday we wouldn't be able to pay our bills, and that's what's gotta change."

Like many Republicans, Issa also indicated he does not consider Aug. 2 the true deadline to raise the debt ceiling. "[President Obama] signed funding through September months ago," he said.

-- Updated at 12:20 p.m.

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