August 06,2011

Press Contact:

Julia Lawless, Antonia Ferrier, 202.224.4515

Hatch Statement on S&P Downgrade of U.S. Credit Rating

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), Ranking Member of the Senate Finance Committee, issued the following statement after Standard & Poor’s announced a downgrade of the U.S. credit rating from AAA to AA+:

“The downgrade of our nation’s credit rating is a direct threat to our financial stability, putting much-needed job creation and the cost of credit for every American family and business at serious risk. The acceleration of deficits and debt coupled with an unpredictable fiscal path and unsustainable entitlement promises has, regrettably, cast doubt on the full faith and credit of the United States.

“Some have argued that increasing taxes would remedy the current crisis, but with our economy still weak, this would be an extremely wrong-headed approach. We must now work to reverse the current damaging fiscal policies and advance common-sense initiatives that will hold down spending, provide responsible tax relief for Americans, spur new job growth and fully restore our nation’s fiscal house.

“Nearly two weeks ago, I called on the Treasury Department to provide Congress and the American people with a detailed analysis of the nation’s financial resources and a contingency plan if the nation’s credit rating were to ever be lowered. The silence from Treasury is disconcerting, and in my view, unacceptable. Moving forward I will continue to press for answers – answers the American people rightly deserve.”

Hatch recently wrote to eight members of the Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSCO), the group charged with monitoring the financial stability of the nation, asking for detailed information about how much money the Treasury Department has and requested a detailed contingency plan if the nation would ever default or face a downgrade of its credit rating. To date, the Treasury Department has failed to fully provide the information.