By Geneva Sands - 05/23/12 04:25 PM EDT
Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), a staunch fiscal conservative and Tea Party favorite, said he is certain that the United States will face another credit downgrade.
"S&P's downgrade on us was right, matter of fact we're going to get another downgrade. I can tell you right now, you can have a great legal case for suing the rating agencies for not downgrading us again because we have not demonstrated the political will to solve the problems," said Coburn on CBS's midweek show "Face to Face," posted online Wednesday.
The United States suffered the first downgrade to its credit rating in history when Standard & Poor's reduced the nation's rating from AAA to AA+ last August.
"We should see another downgrade, because we have not done the structural things that will fix our country," he added.
The battle over last summer's debt crisis was reignited when House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) vowed earlier this month that the House would only raise the federal government’s $16.4 trillion debt ceiling if Democrats agree to further spending cuts and entitlement reforms.
When asked if he agreed with Boehner's decision to push forward the tumultuous debt-ceiling debate, Coburn said, "I think that's exactly what our founders had in mind."
He argued that the credit rating wasn't downgraded because of deadlock in Congress, but rather because the biggest cost drivers of U.S. debt were not addressed.
Coburn, who was a member of President Obama's fiscal commission, called for changes to Medicare and Social Security, saying in order to stem the mounting U.S. debt, earnings limitations and age requirements will have to be reformed.
"Those are all things people don't want to hear, but it's going to happen, because if we don't do it, the people who are loaning us the money are going to make us do it," he said.
The GOP senator predicted that if nothing is done to reduce the federal debt, in two to five years the United States will face the same economic problems as Greece.