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Geithner on Debt Deal: Don't Know If We Will Avoid Downgrade

Lauren Victoria Burke/ABC NEWS(WASHINGTON) -- Is a credit rating downgrade for the United States more likely because of the way the process surrounding the debt compromise unfolded in Washington?

“I don’t know,” Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner told ABC News in an interview set to air on Good Morning America Tuesday morning. “It’s hard to tell. I think this is a good result but a terrible process. And again…as the world watched Congress step up to the edge of the abyss it made them really wonder whether this place can work.”

Geithner called the debt deal “a good agreement” and said it benefits the economy in the “long term” because it will force Congress to make tough choices.

But what about the short term? Asked to respond to critics who say it could cost American jobs, Geithner said, “No, it will not.”

Will it create jobs for some of the 25 million Americans looking for work?  

“No, this agreement itself, on its own, doesn’t create jobs,” he said. “What it does is it avoids doing more damage in the short term, because the president refused to accept the types of deep spending cuts that many in Congress wanted, and it -- by locking in some long term savings it raises -- it improves the odds over time.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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