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Fitch warns an extended shutdown could hurt the U.S. credit rating

January 09, 2019 / Taylor Telford

As the partial U.S. government shutdown dragged into its 19th day, Fitch Ratings warned Wednesday that an extended shutdown might damage the country’s Triple-A credit rating if lawmakers are unable to pass a budget or manage the debt ceiling. While President Trump spars with Democratic leaders over $5.7 billion for a border wall and funding for nine government agencies, hundreds of thousands of workers are caught up in the shutdown, furloughed or working without being paid, and much of the federal government is paralyzed. The day after Trump took his fight for the wall to prime-time TV on Tuesday, Fitch’s global head of sovereign ratings, James McCormack, said that if the shutdown keeps lawmakers from being able to address the debt ceiling in early March, the inefficiency and ripple effects might do lasting damage to the country’s credit.