President Obama is meeting to discuss the looming fiscal cliff with business leaders at the White House on Wednesday, after telling labor leaders on Tuesday that he would not back down on his pledge to make the wealthiest Americans pay more in taxes as part of a deficit-reduction deal to avert economy-busting tax hikes and spending cuts due to hit at the end of the year. Obama plans to open talks with congressional leaders later this week with a call, included in his most recent budget proposal, to hike taxes on corporations and the wealthy by $1.6 trillion over a decade, which is twice as much as House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) offered Obama during secret debt negotiations last year. Republicans say they're willing to discuss raising revenue, but they warned the freshly re-elected president not to overplay his hand. "I'm not asking the president... to adopt our principles," Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said. "I'm simply asking him to respect our principles by not insisting that we compromise them. Because we won't."
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