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Pelosi: No fiscal-cliff deal without higher tax rates on the wealthy

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi said Sunday she could not accept a deal on the "fiscal cliff" that does not include higher tax rates on the wealthy.

Republicans say new revenues in the fiscal-cliff deal should come from capping deductions and closing loopholes, while Democrats want to raise rates on families making more than $250,000 per year.

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Pelosi gave a flat "no" when asked on ABC's "This Week" whether an agreement that doesn't include tax increases on the wealthy would be acceptable.

"Just to close loopholes is far too little money … If it's going to bring in revenue, the president has been very clear that the higher income people have to pay their fair share," Pelosi said.

Pelosi agreed, though, that the country shouldn't be allowed to go over the fiscal cliff — a combination of tax increases and automatic spending cuts set to take effect at the end of the year, which economists warn could plunge the country back into recession.


"We're all grown-ups. I mean, we talk about maturity and age; we're all grownups," she said. "We have a responsibility to the American people. The elements for an agreement are there. Time is of the essence. The quicker we do it, the more confidence we instill, the better it is for the economy and for the American people."