The White House downplays S&P

Updated
The White House is downplaying today’s S&P announcement, which downgraded its outlook on the U.S. government debt.

White House spokesman Jay Carney said Standard & Poor’s action was a welcome call for a bipartisan agreement to reduce the deficit.

Standard & Poor’s slapped an official “negative” sticker on the long-term AAA credit rating after the on-going budget fiasco on Capitol Hill and the growing mountain of debt. It used to be listed as “stable.”

“We believe there is a material risk that U.S. policy makers might not reach an agreement on how to address medium-and long-term budgetary challenges by 2013,” the New York-based agency said today in a report. “If an agreement is not reached and meaningful implementation does not begin by then, this would in our view render the U.S. fiscal profile meaningfully weaker than that of peer ‘AAA’ sovereigns.”

Stocks tanked after the agency’s announcement.

President Obama is scheduled to head to the West Coast this week to promote his deficit-cutting plan. He’ll make jazzed up campaign-style stops in San Fran, L.A. and Reno, addressing the debt issues.

Debt, Barack Obama and Budget

The White House downplays S&P

Updated