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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Obama: Protect middle class from income tax hike

President Barack Obama has urged Congress to protect the middle class from an income tax hike as negotiations over the so-called "fiscal cliff" continue.

In his weekly address to the nation, Obama called his proposal "a balanced plan", adding it was one "that would protect the middle class, cut spending in a responsible way, and ask the wealthiest Americans to pay a little more".

"You meet your deadlines and your responsibilities every day. The folks you sent here to serve should do the same", the President said.

"We cannot let Washington politics get in the way of America's progress. We've got to do what it takes to protect the middle class, grow this economy, and move our country forward", he concluded.

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