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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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US steps back from 'Fiscal Cliff' edge after Senate vote

US politicians have stepped back from the fiscal cliff which many feared could prompt a new economic downturn.

Early on New Year's Day, the Democrat-dominated Senate passed legislation to block huge tax increases and spending cuts by an overwhelming 89-8.

A vote in the Republican-led House of Representatives is expected later.

Speaking after the vote US Majority Leader Harry Reid thanked members for their patience.

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