Obama hails US budget deal

Barack Obama has hailed a deal to avoid a "fiscal cliff" of stark tax hikes and spending cuts. The US House of Representatives backed the bill by 257 votes to 167.

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US avoids tax hikes for many in "Fiscal Cliff" Bill vote

The US House of Representatives voted just after 4am to avert the US "fiscal cliff" sparing most Americans from tax hikes, spending cuts and the threat of a US recession in 2013.

President Barack Obama is expected to quickly give his signature to the measure. The 257-167 vote relied heavily on Democratic votes to win passage. It ended hard-fought negotiations over tax rates.

But it leaves many budget issues unresolved before another fiscal deadline in about two months - the need to raise the federal borrowing limit.



One more vote needed to stop US tax hikes

The fiscal cliff deal is just one vote away from being passed and Democrats hope the legislation will be in place before the financial markets open tomorrow.

The US Senate passed the bill which blocks tax increases and spending cuts and now needs to get through the House of Representatives.

ITV News correspondent Lewis Vaughan Jones reports from Washington:

Republican House Leader: I do not support Senate bill

The Republican leader in the US House of Representatives Eric Cantor has said he does not support the bill passed by the Senate to avert steep tax rises and spending cuts.

He said he was concerned about a "lack of spending cuts in the bill" and that Republicans in the House are searching for a way forward.

Mr Cantor expressed his unhappiness with the measure to reporters as he left a closed-door meeting with fellow House Republicans.

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