S&P says no comment on deficit reduction plans

NEW YORK Tue Jul 26, 2011 5:15pm EDT

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Ratings agency Standard and Poor's on Tuesday said it will not comment on the "many and varying" plans to reduce the deficit that are currently under discussion in Washington.

"Any statement to the contrary is inaccurate," the agency said in an emailed statement.

Republicans and Democrats are further apart than ever in Washington, with competing plans to cut the country's ballooning deficit and avoid a downgrade of the U.S. AAA credit rating.

House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner, the top Republican in Congress, is pushing for a two-stage deficit cutting plan that would start with an initial $1.2 trillion in savings over 10 years. President Barack Obama opposes it because it would raise the debt limit for only a few months.

Democrats have presented their one-step plan for $2.7 trillion in deficit reduction over the next decade but with a debt limit hike that would carry through the November 2012 elections.

Earlier this month, S&P threatened to downgrade U.S. ratings in the next three months depending on the evolution of the debt negotiations.

In Tuesday's statement it reiterated that its decision will take into account lawmakers' ability to "agree on a plan to deal with the federal deficit and develop a credible solution to the country's debt burden."

(Reporting by Walter Brandimarte; Editing by Dan Grebler)

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