Lawmakers Probing if Obama Administration Meddled With S&P Rating

A congressional panel is investigating whether the Obama Administration tried to make material changes to a draft of S&P’s news release announcing the negative outlook revision of the US credit rating.
Reuters reported:

A congressional panel is examining whether the Obama administration tried to unduly influence Standard & Poor’s before the credit rater revised its outlook on the debt rating to negative.

Randy Neugebauer, the Republican chairman of a House oversight panel, said on Wednesday his staff is probing whether Treasury tried to make material changes to a draft of S&P’s news release announcing the negative outlook revision in April.

“Our concern was if the administration was trying to influence this rating decision some — above what would be a normal practice,” Neugebauer told reporters after a hearing examining oversight of the credit rating industry and the role the raters are playing in U.S. debt talks.

S&P has been the most aggressive of the “big three” credit rating agencies in threatening to downgrade the United States’ triple-A rating unless Congress agrees to a credible and meaningful deficit-reduction plan.

U.S. lawmakers are trying to reach a deal by August 2 to both raise the $14.3 trillion U.S. debt limit and lay out an aggressive framework to cut federal spending.

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