US Congress backs fiscal cliff deal

City A.M. Reporter
US Congress backed the fiscal cliff deal late last night – ending days of drama just before financial markets opened for the new year – handing a victory to President Obama.

Following a tense few days, the House of Representatives last night passed the bill by 257 votes to 167, preventing huge tax hikes and spending cuts that threatened to push the US over the “fiscal cliff” and into recession.

Earlier in the day, the Senate passed the bill by 89 to 8.

Global markets reacted positively to the deal, as Asian stocks hit a five-month high and the FTSE 100 sailed over the 6,000 mark.

The vote averted immediate pain like tax hikes for almost all US households, but did nothing to resolve other political showdowns on the budget that loom in coming months.