Moody’s Investor Services warned Tuesday that it likely would downgrade the United States’ AAA credit rating if government officials don’t deal with the nation’s debt problems.

The credit rating firm said negotiations between Congress and the White House on the nation’s 2013 budget, and whether they will reduce the high ratio of debt to gross domestic product, will be key to maintaining its top credit rating.

“If those negotiations fail to produce such policies, however, Moody’s would expect to lower the rating, probably to Aa1,” the company said.