"If it were prolonged, or repeated, people would begin to question the willingness of the United States to stay the course and its ability to, but that's not the case and I don't think it will be the case," Kerry said at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum in Indonesia's Bali.

His comments came with Congress appearing no closer to resolving the impasse which has shuttered swathes of government departments and sent hundreds of thousands of federal workers home.

In a bid to seize the moral high ground, House Speaker John Boehner, the top Republican in Congress, declared "this isn't some damn game" after a report cited an unnamed official saying that the White House is benefiting from the shutdown.

The shutdown is rocking the US government barely 12 days away from a far more challenging fiscal hurdle, the need to raise the US debt ceiling or suffer a catastrophic credit default.


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