President Barack Obama, with Vice-President Joe Biden at his side, makes a statement regarding the passage of the fiscal cliff bill in the press briefing room at the White House in Washington, 1 January 2013
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Obama praises 'fiscal cliff' deal

Barack Obama has hailed a deal reached to stave off a "fiscal cliff" of drastic taxation and spending measures as "just one step in the broader effort to strengthen the economy".

The US president was speaking after the House of Representatives passed a Senate-backed bill by 257 votes to 167.

It raises taxes for the wealthy and delays spending cuts for two months.