During an appearance on ABC's "This Week," Pelosi was asked whether congressional Democrats are willing to walk away from the negotiations if Republicans don't give ground on upper-income tax rates.
"I don't think it's my role to go to the table with a threat," Pelosi said. "I think it's my role to go to the table with some ideas, to be receptive to what we can come to agreement on."
Pelosi didn't disavow statements by other Democratic lawmakers about their willingness to let the Dec. 31 deadline for an agreement and start over in 2013.
"I'm not criticizing statements others make, but what I am saying is that there's too much at risk," she said. "And even if you went over the cliff for one month and then corrected it, you would still have a loss of GDP."
Fiscal cliff is the term being applied to a set of circumstances in which federal income tax rate cuts enacted during the administration of former President George W. Bush are scheduled to expire at the end of the year -- at the same time across-the-board federal spending cuts are scheduled to take effect.
The spending cuts were part of a 2011 deal in which Congress raised the limit on borrowing so the federal government could meet financial obligations.