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Geithner: White House prepared to face fiscal cliff

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"If Republicans do not agree to that, is the administration prepared to go over the fiscal cliff?" asked CNBC reporter Steve Liesman.

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

Geithner also indicated that the president's push to take control of the nation's debt limit was a vital component to any agreement. The White House's original fiscal-cliff proposal included a provision that would let the administration raise the debt limit as needed, leaving Congress only the opportunity to pass measures, subject to a presidential veto, disapproving of the hike.

"We're not going to make the American people pay the price again for a group of minority Republicans who say they want to threaten default occasionally," he said.

For more on Geithner's comments, click here.