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US fiscal cliff talks stall as both sides dig in

Published on Nov 30, 2012 6:02 AM
US Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) (right) speaks as Senate Majority Leader Senator Harry Reid (D-NV) (left) listens during a news conference on Nov 29, 2012 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. -- PHOTO: AFP

WASHINGTON (AFP) - United States (US) Democrats and Republicans bickered on Thursday over whether to raise taxes on the wealthiest Americans, as crunch negotiations on avoiding the so-called fiscal cliff stalled.

Republican speaker John Boehner met Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, after a Wednesday phone call with President Barack Obama, but warned there had been "no substantive progress" in averting drastic tax hikes and spending cuts.

"I've got to tell you that I'm disappointed in where we are and disappointed in what's happened over the last couple of weeks," he said, urging the White House to "get serious" about cutting federal spending, including entitlements.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, shot back that Democrats have seen no "serious offer" from Republicans, who oppose raising tax rates and are divided about a quick agreement on keeping taxes low for middle-income families.

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