S&P warning: Fix deficit or risk credit rating

A key praise agency issued an unparalleled warning to the United States government Monday, urging Washington to get a grip on its money or risk losing the nation's sterling recognition rating.

For the first time, Standard & Poor's lower its long-term outlook for the federal government's economic health from "stable" to "unhelpful," and warned of serious consequences if lawmakers fail to reach a deal to organize the enormous federal shortage.

A standoff could prompt the agency to strip the government of its top venture rating in the next two years, S&P said. A loss of the triple-A rating would undulate during the American economy, making loans more luxurious and credit trickier to obtain.

The demote was interpreted as a rebuke to President Barack Obama and congressional Republicans, admonish them to put government aside and come up with a long-term fiscal plan as soon as possible.