White House, Republicans reach deal on fiscal cliff: Report

Washington, Jan 1 (IANS) The White House and Senate Republicans have reached a deal to avert the "fiscal cliff", Xinhua reported citing the US media.

Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House of Representatives Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi had signed off on the deal, a source was quoted as saying.

The plan would include revenue increases and a two-month delay for the automatic spending cuts. It may extend unemployment insurance benefits for about two million Americans for one year.

A vote was possible in the Democrat-led Senate late Monday but the Republican-controlled House was unlikely to hold a vote until Tuesday on legislation to avoid the "fiscal cliff," a combination of tax hikes and spending cuts which would begin to take effect Jan. 1.

US Vice President Joe Biden went to Capitol Hill Monday night to brief Senate Democrats on the details of the deal. Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker John Boehner have not revealed their positions on the deal.

"Today it appears that an agreement to prevent this New Year's tax hike is within sight, but it is not done. There are still issues left to resolve, but we're hopeful that Congress can get it done," Obama said in early-afternoon remarks at the White House.

The deadline to prevent the "fiscal cliff" was technically midnight Monday.

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