S&P officially takes neutral stance on debt-limit fight

Standard & Poor's is working to avoid taking sides in the debt-limit fight, announcing Monday that any claims it favors one approach over the other is "inaccurate."

The ratings agency issued a statement following reports that S&P had privately been telling investors that House Speaker John Boehner's (R-Ohio) debt plan would likely still result in a downgrade of the nation's AAA credit rating, while Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's (D-Nev.) would not.

Rather, the agency reiterated what it said in its July 14 statement — that there is a 50 percent chance it will downgrade the nation's debt, and that it needs to see a credible plan for addressing the deficit to salvage it.

"Standard & Poor’s has chosen not to comment on the many and varying proposals that have arisen in the current debate. Any statement to the contrary is inaccurate," the agency said in its statement.

The ratings agencies have worked hard to avoid wading into the to-and-fro on Capitol Hill over the debt limit. Instead, they have opted to issue public warnings that the nation's credit rating is in danger unless the debt limit is raised and policymakers agree on a credible plan for the nation's deficit and debt burden.