US reaches decision on fiscal cliff

<p>President Obama has praised the passing of a deal to avoid the fiscal cliff.</p>

US president Barack Obama has hailed the passing of a deal to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff as a step towards strengthening the economy today (January 2nd).

Addressing the media shortly after the House of Representatives agreed a Senate-backed decision by 257 votes to 167, the official confirmed the move would place higher taxes on the wealthiest two per cent of the population.

In addition, the bill will see austerity measures brought about by further spending cuts delayed for an additional two months.

The US Senate passed the policy less than 24 hours earlier, with 89 members voting in favour and eight opting against the move following intense negotiations between vice president Joe Biden and Senate Republicans.

Mr Obama stated that the bill will see richer families pay more tax in a bid to prevent increases for the middle class.

"There is a path forward, if we focus not on politics, but on what's right for the country," he added.

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