WASHINGTON – The White House on Monday dismissed a Republican counteroffer to avert the so-called fiscal cliff as failing to “meet the test of balance” by resisting higher tax rates for the wealthy, a point that remains a key hurdle in the impasse over spending and revenues.

Dan Pfeiffer, the White House communications director, said in a statement that what congressional Republicans had billed as a “good-faith effort” to move toward compromise contained “nothing new” and offered no specifics on how they’d achieve revenue targets included in the plan.