White House Press Secretary Jay Carney:
“The President believes it is important that our elected leaders come together to strengthen our economy and put our nation on a stronger fiscal footing.
The bipartisan compromise on deficit reduction was an important step in the right direction. Yet, the path to getting there took too long and was at times too divisive. We must do better to make clear our nation’s will, capacity and commitment to work together to tackle our major fiscal and economic challenges.
Over the past weeks and months the President repeatedly called for substantial deficit reduction through both long-term entitlement changes and revenues through tax reform, with additional measures to spark jobs and strengthen our recovery. That is why the President pushed for a grand bargain that would include all of these elements and require compromise and cooperation from all sides.
Over the coming weeks the President will strongly encourage the bipartisan fiscal committee as well as all members of Congress to put our common commitment to a stronger recovery and a sounder long-term fiscal path above our political and ideological differences.”
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid:
“The action by S&P reaffirms the need for a balanced approach to deficit reduction that combines spending cuts with revenue-raising measures like closing taxpayer-funded giveaways to billionaires, oil companies and corporate jet owners. This makes the work of the joint committee all the more important, and shows why leaders should appoint members who will approach the committee’s work with an open mind – instead of hardliners who have already ruled out the balanced approach that the markets and rating agencies like S&P are demanding.”
GOP Presidential Candidate Jon Huntsman:
“Out-of-control spending and a lack of leadership in Washington have resulted in President Obama presiding over the first downgrade of the United States credit rating in our history. For far too long we have let reckless government spending go unchecked and the cancerous debt afflicting our nation has spread. We need new leadership in Washington committed to fiscal responsibility, a balanced budget, and job-friendly policies to get America working again.”
GOP Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney:
“America’s creditworthiness just became the latest casualty of President Obama’s failed leadership on the economy.”
Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL):
“President should recall Congress to reduce borrowing.”
GOP Presidential Candidate Rep. Michele Bachmann:
“Tonight’s decision by S&P to downgrade our credit rating to AA+ is a historically significant and serious event for the United States. The United States has had a AAA credit rating since 1917. That rating has endured the great depression, World War II, Korea, Vietnam and the terrorist attacks on 9/11. This President has destroyed the credit rating of the United States through his failed economic policies and his inability to control government spending by raising the debt ceiling.
“We were warned by all of the credit agencies that a failure to deal with our debt would lead to a downgrade in our credit rating, but instead he submitted a budget that had a $1.5 trillion deficit and then requested a $2.4 trillion blank check. President Obama is destroying the foundations of the U.S. economy one beam at a time. I call on the President to seek the immediate resignation of Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and to submit a plan with a list of cuts to balance the budget this year, turn our economy around and put Americans back to work.”
Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer:
“Tonight’s announcement serves as yet another wakeup call that we must put politics aside as we work to put our nation’s fiscal house back in order. S&P has made it clear that they expect us to reach a balanced, comprehensive agreement to reduce the deficit. The joint committee must be ready to put everything on the table so that we can restore our credit rating and return our nation to a fiscally sustainable path.”
Speaker of the House John Boehner:
“This decision by S&P is the latest consequence of the out-of-control spending that has taken place in Washington for decades. The spending binge has resulted in job-destroying economic uncertainty and now threatens to send destructive ripple effects across our credit markets.
Republicans have listened to the voices of the American people and worked to bring the spending binge to a halt. We are no longer debating how much to spend, but rather how much to cut. Unfortunately, decades of reckless spending cannot be reversed immediately, especially when the Democrats who run Washington remain unwilling to make the tough choices required to put America on solid ground.
The Administration and Democrats in Congress had sought an increase in the debt limit without any spending cuts or reforms. Republicans made clear the American people would not tolerate that and fought for the largest spending cuts possible. With the Budget Control Act, we made a positive first step toward reducing the debt, but much more must be done.
In May, I warned, ‘if we don’t act boldly now, the markets will act for us very soon.’ It is my hope this wake-up call will convince Washington Democrats that they can no longer afford to tinker around the edges of our long-term debt problem. As S&P noted, reforming and preserving our entitlement programs is the ‘key to long-term fiscal sustainability.’
Republicans remain committed to ensuring the United States always meets its obligations. Though we are outnumbered in Washington, we will continue to press Democrats to join us in taking meaningful steps to rein in our debt and deficits.”
Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK):
“This announcement is probably long overdue. For decades, political careerism has trumped statesmanship in Washington. Both parties have done what is safe, not what is right. The dysfunction in Washington is the belief that we can live beyond our means forever. We can’t. The moment to make the hard decisions we have long avoided has arrived. There is no where left to kick the can.”
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