With the U.S. losing its Triple-A credit rating for the first time ever, Republican lawmakers and presidential contenders are calling on President Obama to fire Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner.
Standard & Poor’s decision late Friday to lower the nation’s credit rating to AA-plus is an embarrassment for Geithner who insisted in April that there was no possibility that the U.S. debt would be downgraded despite a warning from the credit agency.
“No risk,” Geithner told Fox Business at the time. When asked whether S&P was wrong and that the U.S. would keep its top credit rating, Geithner said, “Absolutely”
But Geithner changed his tune on Tuesday after Washington reached a last-minute deal to extend the nation’s $14.3 trillion debt limit in exchange for more than $2 trillion in federal spending cuts. S&P, one of the world’s three major credit agencies, said at least $4 trillion of federal spending needed to be slashed.
Geithner told ABC News that he wasn’t sure whether the deal was enough to avoid a downgrade.
“It’s not my judgment to make and they have to make that judgment,” he said. He added, “This is in some ways a judgment on the capacity of Congress to act and what this deal does is put us in a much better position to make those tough choices.”
Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C. said the president should “demand” that Geithner resign “and immediately replace him with someone who will help Washington focus on balancing our budget and allowing the private sector to create jobs.”