WASHINGTON — Triple-A rated municipal issuers responded swiftly and strongly to being placed on watch for a possible downgrade, saying a federal debt default would not hinder their ability to pay bondholders.

Moody’s Investors Service on Thursday listed 162 local governments, 14 housing agencies, and one public university that would be directly and indirectly affected should the United States lose its triple-A rating. Moody’s said it is evaluating each issuer’s reliance on federal spending and other economic factors.

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