Just in case Moody's and S&P didn't frighten you enough, Fitch credit agency has added itself to the list of groups planning to downgrade the United State's triple-A rating if the debt ceiling is not raised by August 2. PerThe Hill:
First, the rating would be placed on Credit Watch Negative -- a move already adopted by fellow rater Standard & Poor's. Two days after the deadline, the Treasury has a $90 billion bond due to mature. If the government does not pay in full that bond, Fitch would immediately knock the rating down several notches to B-plus -- the highest possible rating for a nation in default.
August 2 looms large as congressional leaders continued to scramble over the weekend, hoping to find a solution to the months-long negotiation. The Washington Postreports that talks are centered around a proposal from Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell to cut spending by $1.5 trillion over the next ten years without any increases to revenue.
There is a brief respite today after the flurry of White House summits between President Obama and leaders from Congress. The two sides spent the week negotiating a way to bridge the impasse on raising the debt ceiling that, if not resolved by Aug 2, threatens to permanently alter the United State's credit standing. Obama went before reporters this morning for his second press conference of the week.
The leading figure in Iowa's conservative movement is set to unveil a pledge that would pigeonhole the 2012 Republican presidential candidates into defined positions on a host of social issues. It will include
a 14-point list of pledges ranging from the personal (staying
faithful to one's spouse) to broader policy (keeping the size of the
government small), but the heavy emphasis is on forcing the candidates to codify their opposition to same-sex marriage.
Over on the homepage, Jason Mark has an article on how the transportation bill reauthorization could finally be an opportunity for progressives in Congress to begin tackling climate change. "Transportation accounts for more than two-thirds of the nation’s oil use and about 25 percent of its carbon-dioxide emissions," Jason writes. Shifting funds in the transportation bill away from highway construction and redirecting it toward mass transit might not immediately solve the country's emissions problem, but it would at least give consumers greater options to lower their carbon footprint.