WASHINGTON -- House Speaker John Boehner says he's not confident Congress can reach a budget deal and avoid a downgrading of the U.S. debt rating.
Moody's Investors Service said Tuesday that it would likely cut its "Aaa" rating on U.S. government debt, probably by one notch, if budget negotiations fail.
Boehner was asked at a Capitol Hill news conference how confident he was that such a step could be avoided. He said he wasn't confident at all.
The Ohio Republican stressed that the House has passed legislation to avoid the automatic, across-the-board cuts of $1.2 trillion from defense and domestic programs that kick in Jan. 2. He said the Senate needs to act and President Barack Obama needs to show some leadership.
Any real negotiations are not expected until after the November elections.