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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White House urges opponents not to block 'fiscal cliff' deal

Barack Obama will resume talks to avoid the "fiscal cliff" Credit: REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

The White House has called on congressional Republicans to not stand in the way of a resolution on the US Congress.

Barack Obama cut short a Christmas holiday to resume talks to avoid the "fiscal cliff" of automatic year-end tax hikes and spending cuts.

"It's up to the Senate Minority Leader not to block a vote and it's up the House Republican leader, the Speaker of the House ... to allow a vote," a senior administration official told reporters.

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