Clyburn says credit downgrade a political move rather than economic

Photo Credit: Adam Pinsker

COLUMBIA (WACH, AP) -- U.S. Rep. James Clyburn is criticizing Standard & Poor's downgrade of America's debt rating, saying the decision was based more on politics than economics.

The Democrat from South Carolina told reporters Tuesday he's concerned the decision didn't focus on America's ability to pay its debts.

"I think this is very unfortunate," Clyburn says. "I think it was undeserved, but I don't think it was unexpected," Clyburn said Tuesday.

Clyburn says he's pleased the two other major credit agencies kept the country's top credit rating.

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S&P downgraded the U.S. rating for the first time Friday, cutting the rating to "AA+" from AAA. Two other ratings agencies -- Moody's and Fitch -- are keeping the AAA rating for now.

S&P managing director David Beers says the decision was based on several factors, including damage done to America's reputation by the debt ceiling controversy and concerns that public finances are on an unsustainable path.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)