With final vote, US Congress resolves 'fiscal cliff' drama
WASHINGTON (REUTERS) - The United States Congress approved a rare tax increase on Tuesday that will hit the nation's wealthiest households in a bipartisan budget deal that stops the world's largest economy from falling into a deep fiscal crisis and recession.
By a vote of 257 to 167, the Republican-controlled House of Representatives approved a bill that fulfills President Barack Obama's re-election promise to raise taxes on top earners.
The Senate passed the measure earlier in a rare New Year's Day session and Mr Obama is expected to sign it into law shortly.
The US will no longer go over a "fiscal cliff" of tax hikes and spending cuts that had been due to come into force on Tuesday but other bruising budget battles lie ahead in the next two months.