New budget deal agreed by US Congress

<p>Congress has confirmed it has agreed a new budget deal.</p>

A cross-party Congressional budget committee has announced it has reached a new budget deal, which will avoid a repeat of October's government shutdown in the US.

Failure to reach agreement two months ago led to many public services being shut down while negotiations were ongoing.

Republican Congressman Paul Ryan said on Tuesday (December 10th) that the new deal "cuts spending in a smarter way", while Democratic Senator Patty Murray said: "We have broken through the partisanship and gridlock."

The government's budget will now be secured for two years and the effect of the agreement is that it reduces the federal deficit by $23 billion (£14 billion).

US President Barack Obama, who regularly voices disapproval over the breakdown in talks in October, described the agreement as "balanced".

"This agreement doesn't include everything I'd like – and I know many Republicans feel the same way. That's the nature of compromise," he said.

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