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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 confident of avoiding middle-class tax rises

Barack Obama is optimistic Democrats and Republicans can "get done" a deal to prevent tax rises for the middle classes and take a "big bite" out of the fiscal cliff.

The US President told NBC's 'Meet the Press' programme:

Over the next 48 hours, my hope is that people recognize that, regardless of partisan differences, our top priority has to be to make sure that taxes on middle-class families do not go up.

We can get that done. Democrats and Republicans both say they don't want taxes to go up on middle-class families. If we can get that done, that takes a big bite out of the 'fiscal cliff.'

If people start seeing that on January 1st this problem still hasn't been solved... then obviously that's going to have an adverse reaction in the markets.

– Barack Obama

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