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Fiji Time: 10:13 PM on Wednesday 16 April

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US house set to vote

Bbc.co.uk
Monday, December 24, 2012

THE Republican-led US House is set to vote on a package of spending cuts and tax rises party leaders say will keep the US away from the "fiscal cliff".

The vote includes tax rises on earnings above $US1million ($F1.77m) on Speaker John Boehner's so-called "Plan B" option.

It comes as talks with the White House appear to have stalled, with President Barack Obama seeking a lower threshold.

A deal must be reached by January 1, or a combination of steep tax rises and sharp spending cuts will take effect.

Analysts in the US and overseas have expressed concern that failure to reach a deal could take the US into recession.

Veto threat

A vote is expected by the late afternoon on Thursday, but could stretch on into the evening.

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor said on Thursday: "We, as Republicans, have taken concrete actions to avoid the fiscal cliff."

He and Mr Boehner say the bill as proposed would ensure permanent tax cuts for 99.8 per cent of Americans.