WASHINGTON -- The head of a top credit rating agency says that some of the deficit-cutting plans being considered by Congress could bring the U.S. debt burden down to a level that would allow the country to keep its triple-A credit rating.

Standard & Poor's President Deven Sharma told a congressional panel on Wednesday that previous reports indicating that Congress would need to achieve $4 trillion in deficit cuts over 10 years to retain the country's top credit rating were inaccurate.

Sharma refused to be specific over how much deficit cutting would be needed to win S&P's approval. But he said some of the plans being discussed were in the range of what the credit agency believes would be necessary for a credible attack on the country's deficit problems.