US President Obama Hails Deal to Avert Fiscal Cliff
President Obama spoke at the White House after the House vote on Tuesday. Photo by The New York Times
US President Barack Obama has praised a deal reached to avert a "fiscal cliff" of drastic taxation and spending measures, but warned Congress on debt fight.
Speaking before returning to Hawaii for his interrupted Christmas holiday, Obama described the deal as "just one step in the broader effort to strengthen the economy".
President Obama warned that while he was open to compromise on budgetary issues, he would not have another debate with Congress about the so-called "debt ceiling".
"While I will negotiate over many things, I will not have another debate with this Congress about whether or not they should pay the bills they have already racked up," Obama said in remarks in the White House.
He urged "a little less drama" in coming budget talks about cutting government spending.
The US president was speaking after the House of Representatives passed a Senate-backed bill by 257 votes to 167.
It had been passed in the Senate less than 24 hours earlier by 89 votes to eight after lengthy talks between Vice-President Joe Biden and Senate Republicans.
It raises taxes for the wealthy and delays spending cuts for two months.
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