US gov't urges Republicans not to block 'fiscal cliff' deal

HONOLULU - As US President Barack Obama cut short a Christmas vacation to resume talks to avoid the "fiscal cliff" of automatic year-end tax hikes and spending cuts, the White House on Wednesday called on congressional Republicans not to stand in the way of a resolution in the US Congress.
"It's up to the Senate Minority Leader not to block a vote and it's up the House Republican leader, the Speaker of the House ... to allow a vote," a senior administration official told reporters traveling with the president.