White House, Senate reach deal to avoid fiscal cliff as bill goes to House of Representatives
The White House and top Republicans have struck a dramatic, last-minute deal to avert huge New Year tax hikes and postpone automatic spending cuts.
Members of the US Senate voted by a count of 89 to 8 to pass a bill that averts the so-called "fiscal cliff."
It now goes to the House of Representatives, which could hold a vote on the measure later today.
In a statement, US President Barack Obama urged the House to "pass it without delay."
If the measure is agreed by both chambers of Congress, it would hand Mr Obama a victory by hiking tax rates on households earning over 450,000 US dollars a year
Everyone else is exempted from a planned tax increase.
The deal also puts off 109 billion US dollars worth of budget cuts across the government for two months
Vice President Joe Biden, who negotiated the deal with top Senate Republican Mitch McConnell, was glad an agreement could be reached
If no deal had been struck, experts warned that the fragile US economy could have been sent spinning back into recession