VA And MD Could Get Downgraded Over Entitlment Cuts | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

WAMU 88.5 : News

VA And MD Could Get Downgraded Over Entitlment Cuts

Play associated audio
Senate GOP leaders addressing press corps after voting to raise the debt ceiling.
Matt Laslo
Senate GOP leaders addressing press corps after voting to raise the debt ceiling.

Although it lowered the credit rating of the federal government, Standard & Poor's says it will not drop the ratings of Virginia and Maryland now, but the rating agency says that could change.

Virginia and Maryland officials can breathe easy for now. S&P says it isn't going to tie state and local governments to the fate of the federal government, which no longer retains its sterling triple-A bond rating. But John Sugden, a director at the credit rating agency, says officials are now watching Congress.

"To the extent that the federal spending cuts are so large that they affect the state's revenues, and to the extent that the states don't adjust their budgets to offset those reductions, there could be some pressure on the rating," said Sugden.

As a part of the deal raising the federal debt ceiling, lawmakers set up a joint congressional committee tasked with finding at least $1.5 trillion dollars in budget cuts. Sugden says the credit rating of states, such as Virginia and Maryland, will be reexamined based on the severity of those cuts. He says they're looking for a number of things.

"One, is direct reductions due to federal spending cuts, and that could be Medicaid it could be other sorts of spending that goes directly from the federal to the state," said Sugden.

Another factor could be general economic weakness due to a slow recovery.

The joint congressional committee has yet to be set up, but its findings are due by Thanksgiving.

WAMU 88.5

Art Beat With Lauren Landau, Jan. 27, 2015

You can see a play about a girl whose world shifts from black and white to full color. An exhibit of abstract paintings is on view in D.C.

NPR

Sandwich Monday: Girl Scout Cookie Coffeemate

For this week's Sandwich Monday, we try Girl Scout Cookies in a new form. Coffeemate has somehow blended them into nondairy creamer, so you can start your day the disturbing way.
WAMU 88.5

Plan To Limit License Plate Tracking In Virginia Gets Bipartisan Support

Technology allows Virginia police officers to scan the license plates of passing drivers, but lawmakers want to limit how long they're allowed to hold onto that information.

NPR

Facebook Suffers Self-Inflicted Outage

A Facebook statement said the disruption was caused by a technical change it made to the site and wasn't a cyberattack. The outage lasted an hour.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.