White House says unclear whether U.S. could prioritize obligations

WASHINGTON Fri Oct 11, 2013 1:11pm EDT

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WASHINGTON Oct 11 (Reuters) - The White House said on Friday that even if it could pick and choose which bills to pay should it not have enough money to pay them all, a likely legal challenge to such a plan would still hurt America's creditworthiness.

"Even if it was technically possible, which is still very unclear, (it) would be economically horrible for tens of millions of people," said Gene Sperling, a senior advisor to President Barack Obama.

"There would be extraordinary litigation, massive litigation challenging our system, challenging each payment," he told a finance conference.

"All of this would put a serious cloud over what has always been the impeccable credit of the United States government."

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