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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Senate leaders 'to agree two-month spending cut delay'

A possible deal between Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell and Vice President Joe Biden to avert the 'fiscal cliff' would include a two-month delay in automatic federal spending cuts due to begin this week, according to Republican Senator John McCain.

McCain said the deal would include $24 billion in other spending cuts to cover the cost of the delay, and would also include a one-year extension of unemployment benefits.

Treasury suspends investments as US hits debt ceiling

The US Treasury has that said it will hit a legal limit on borrowing but will launching new measures to keep the nation from defaulting on its debt.

In a separate letter, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner told congressional leaders that the government would suspend some investments in pension and health benefit funds for federal workers to free up borrowing authority.

The suspension of the investments is part of a series of measures announced last week to keep the country from defaulting on its debt.

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'Fiscal cliff' mentioned 1.4 million times on Twitter

The impending "fiscal cliff" has been a cause for discussion across the US and has been mentioned on Twitter 1.4 million times in the last month, according to the Twitter government and politics team:

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1.4 million: the number of Twitter mentions for #fiscalcliff and "fiscal cliff" in the last 30 days with one-third in the last week.

For more on the tax rises and spending cuts that make up the "fiscal cliff" click here.

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