Hatch: Geithner 'irresponsible' on 'fiscal cliff'

In an interview with CNBC, Geithner said the White House was willing to face the consequences of the fiscal cliff if Republicans refuse to agree to raise tax rates on the nation's top earners.

When asked if the White House was willing to accept the automatic spending cuts and expiring tax cuts that make up the cliff if the GOP held firm, Geithner said, "Absolutely."

"We see no prospect for an agreement that doesn't involve those rates going up on the top 2 percent of the wealthiest," he added.

However, Geithner has also said he does not want to go over the cliff, warning that it would do damage to the economy and subject people below the nation's wealthiest to tax increases.

This post updated at 6:33 pm.