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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Republican representatives to discuss 'fiscal cliff' bill

Republican members of the US House of Representatives will meet at 1pm local time (1800 GMT) to discuss "a path forward" in the debate over the "fiscal cliff," a senior aide said.

Earlier today, the Senate voted in favour of a bipartisan bill to avert steep tax rises and spending cuts.

The meeting could help Republicans leaders decide when to begin consideration of the White House-backed measure, and a vote could come as soon as later in the day.

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