Republicans scrap vote on back-up plan to avert fiscal cliff crisis
Republican House Speaker John Boehner has scrapped a vote on a back-up plan to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff crisis
He acknowledged that he did not have sufficient support among his Republican lawmakers to pass the bill
He cancelled the vote after calling for a recess during a session in the House
The failure of Mr Boehner's so-called "Plan B" legislation puts the focus squarely on a deal to be thrashed out between him and the White House.
Under the plan, tax cuts would have been extended for all Americans earning less than 1 million US dollars
The measure had been blasted by US President Barack Obama as a diversion as it would never be passed in the Democrats-controlled Senate.
The White House has accused Republicans of walking away from a debt deal.
Talks between US President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner on averting the so-called "fiscal cliff" have stalled
Republicans now plan to vote on a fallback "Plan B" that would effectively extend tax breaks for everyone apart from those earning more than 1 million US dollars a year
Mr Obama wants to extend tax breaks only for households earning up to 400,000 US dollars a year
He said the country cannot afford to extend the cuts, and wants to spend extra revenues paying down the deficit
But Mr Boehner said the Republicans have already done their best
If the two sides cannot reach a deficit-cutting agreement before the end of the year, taxes for all Americans will rise and huge automatic spending cuts will be triggered