The war of words has heated up on Capitol Hill as the fiscal cliff approaches.

A spokesman for House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) has responded to Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid's charge Thursday morning that Boehner is running a "dictatorship" in the House.

"Senator Reid should talk less and legislate more," said Boehner spokesman Michael Steel. "The House has already passed legislation to avoid the entire fiscal cliff. Senate Democrats have not."

The House in August passed a bill extending tax breaks for Americans at all income levels — Democrats want to extend those rates only for the middle class. In May, the House passed a bill that would avert part of automatic spending cuts set to hit the military next month — the other half of the fiscal cliff — by shifting those cuts onto domestic programs.