The White House confirmed Thursday that President Obama is prepared to veto legislation that would skirt the so-called "fiscal cliff" -- a battery of tax hikes and spending cuts -- unless Republicans consent to raise taxes on top earners.
The move drew renewed accusations from rival Mitt Romney that the president has chosen to "simply ignore" Republicans on the Hill instead of dealing with the problem. According to one account, Obama hasn't so much as spoken with House Speaker John Boehner since July.
The fresh reports have suddenly woven the "fiscal cliff" emergency back into the campaign debate in the closing weeks of the race. Congress is preparing to take up the issue in the post-election, lame-duck session, but with lawmakers on recess and the president on the campaign trail little is expected to be accomplished until then.
Romney's campaign on Thursday blamed the president for the inaction.
"His approach would let our economy sink into recession for the sake of pursuing job-killing tax increases. Rather than work in a bipartisan manner as the 'fiscal cliff' approaches, President Obama prefers to issue veto threats and simply ignore the other party. We can't afford four more years of this failed leadership," Romney spokesman Ryan Williams said in a statement. "When Mitt Romney is president, he [will] work with members of both parties to cut spending, restore our AAA credit rating and get our economy growing again."
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