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Republicans pass bill to prioritize debt payments

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The House of Representatives on Thursday passed a bill that would require the U.S. Treasury to pay bondholders and retirement benefits before other government bills if Congress fails to raise the country's statutory debt limit.

The legislation passed 221-207, with a few Republicans dissenting and no Democratic support. The bill has virtually no chance of passing the Democratic-controlled Senate and the White House has said President Barack Obama will veto it.

(Reporting by Rachelle Younglai; editing by Jackie Frank)

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