Impact of debt ceiling debate? UW, cities could be downgraded

Jul 28, 2011

University of Washington, the City of Seattle and King County all face possible credit rating downgrades because of the federal government stalemate over raising the national debt ceiling.

Moody's Investors Service said Thursday the university could lose its AAA rating. The agency said the warning reflects UW's large share of revenues from federal research grants along with Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements.

UW was the only university in the country placed under review Thursday. Moody's also listed 162 local governments for possible downgrade, including Seattle, Bellevue and King County. School districts in King County were also placed under review.

Federal officials say Congress needs to soon find an agreement on how to raise the debt ceiling or the government will not be able to pay all its bills.