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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 avoids tax hikes for many in "Fiscal Cliff" Bill vote

The US House of Representatives voted just after 4am to avert the US "fiscal cliff" sparing most Americans from tax hikes, spending cuts and the threat of a US recession in 2013.

President Barack Obama is expected to quickly give his signature to the measure. The 257-167 vote relied heavily on Democratic votes to win passage. It ended hard-fought negotiations over tax rates.

But it leaves many budget issues unresolved before another fiscal deadline in about two months - the need to raise the federal borrowing limit.

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