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Exasperated US lawmakers push for fiscal cliff deal

Published on Dec 14, 2012 6:20 AM
House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio, who conferred with President Barack Obama by phone yesterday, gestures during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Dec 12, 2012, following a closed-door meeting with the GOP caucus. (From left) Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., Boehner, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Va., and Rep. James Lankford, R-Okla. -- PHOTO : AP

WASHINGTON (AFP) - Exasperated United States lawmakers warned on Thursday they were no closer to a deal with the White House to avert severe tax hikes and austerity measures, as talks threatened their Christmas break.

With the US economy lurching toward the so-called "fiscal cliff," House Speaker John Boehner, the top Republican negotiator, again blamed President Barack Obama for the impasse and demanded concessions on spending.

"It's clear that the president is just not serious about cutting spending.

But spending is the problem," Mr Boehner told reporters, insisting that tax increases alone will not resolve the US fiscal crisis.

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