WASHINGTON -- The District of Columbia moved one step closer yesterday to having its credit rating downgraded, but sources said the district is expected to get the backing it needs from banks to insure an upcoming $250 million note sale.

Standard & Poor's Corp. yesterday placed the district on CreditWatch with negative implications, which means that if the district does not follow through on proposals to control its finances, its A-minus credit rating will be downgraded to the BBB category, the rating agency said.

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