AUGUSTA — Gov. Paul LePage is chiding Congress and the White House for the U.S. credit rating downgrade by Standard & Poor’s.

The credit rating agency on Friday downgraded the U.S. government’s debt rating for the first time ever, from AAA down one notch to AA+.

LePage says the downgrade is a major setback for the future and “economic credibility” of the country. He says Congress and the White House used the possibility of debt default as a political bargaining chip rather than putting the nation’s “fiscal house back in order.”

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