The United States could have avoided the downgrade of its credit rating if it had lifted its debt ceiling earlier, a top official with Standard and Poor's ratings agency said.
"The first thing it could have done is raise the debt ceiling in a timely matter so the debate would have been avoided to begin with," John Chambers, chairman of the S&P sovereign ratings committee, told CNN.
He said that in the past the US debt limit had been raised about 60 or 70 times "without that much debate."
But Chambers said the blame for the predicament that the world's top economy now finds itself in had to be shared between all the parties involved.
"I think there's plenty of blame to go around. This is a problem a long time in the making whether this administration and prior administration," he said.
"It's a matter of the medium and long-term budget position of the United States that needs to be brought under control."
Standard and Poor's on Friday toppled the US economy from its triple-A rating, downgrading it to a AA+ with a negative outlook.
The downgrade came after months of protracted fighting over the raising the nation's debt ceiling which went down the wire and was only resolved in the final hours just before the Treasury said it would run out of cash to meet its bills.