S&P downgrades US credit rating

Associated Press
Sec. of Treasury Tim Geithner, left, partially blocked by his Secret Service agent, walks down the West Wing Colonnade of the White House towards the Oval Office to meet with President Barack Obama, Friday, Aug. 5, 2011 in Washington. Obama met with Geithner prior to  his departure for the presidential retreat at Camp David, Md. Credit rating agency Standard & Poor's on Friday, Aug. 5, 2011 lowered the nation's AAA rating for the first time since granting it in 1917. The move came less than a week after a gridlocked Congress finally agreed to spending cuts that would reduce the debt by more than $2 trillion - a tumultuous process that contributed to convulsions in financial markets. The promised cuts were not enough to satisfy S&P. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

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WASHINGTON (AP) — After the first-ever down grade of the U.S. credit rating, the White House says President Barack Obama thinks it's clear Washington "must do better" in tackling the deficit.

The statement from his spokesman, Jay Carney, didn't directly refer to Friday's move by Standard & Poor's to lower its AAA credit rating for the U.S. government. But it said the talks that led to this week's deal on hiking the borrowing limit "took too long" and were "at times too divisive."

The deal mandated $1 trillion in deficit cuts over 10 years, and set up a special committee of Congress find over $1 trillion more. Carney said Obama will press that committee to put the nation's interests over "political and ideological" divides.

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