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O’Malley: U.S. Credit Rating Downgrade Not Justified

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BALTIMORE (WJZ)– As Standard and Poor’s continues to defend their decision to lower the U.S. credit rating, lawmakers are firing back. That includes Governor Martin O’Malley who was on ABC’s Sunday morning show “This Week.”

Andrea Fujii has more.

Gov. Martin O’Malley says the downgrade of the U.S. credit rating was unjustifiable.

“They made a $2 trillion mistake, the other rating agencies did not downgrade U.S. debt because they did not make that $2 trillion mistake,” he said.

But like many lawmakers he knows the decision was symbolic.

“One has to find understandable their pessimism about our inability to come together,” Gov. O’Malley said.

And coming together may continue to be a stumbling block, as evidenced by O’Malley’s interaction with Alabama Republican Senator Jeff Sessions.

“The credit debt rating according to experts is pulling down growth and costing us jobs,” Sen. Sessions said.

“Ah, good! You said jobs, Senator,” Gov. O’Malley responded.

Gov. O’Malley thinks jobs are the key to getting out of this financial mess.

The latest Bureau of Labor statistics has Maryland’s June unemployment rate at 7 percent. That’s 2.1 percentage points lower than July’s national average.

“We need a balanced approach and the extremism, the Tea Party obstructionism in Washington is keeping us from restoring that balanced approach that America’s always used,” he said.

The world’s top economic powers are pledging to cooperate to prevent a further financial crisis.

Sunday night, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner is taking part in a conference call with representatives of the other G-7 nations to discuss the first-ever downgrade of the U.S. credit rating, along with the debt crisis in Europe.

World leaders are trying to calm investors ahead for what’s expected to be a rocky week for the stock markets. About $2.5 trillion in world stocks were wiped out last week, and that was before Standard and Poor’s officially downgraded the U.S. credit rating.

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