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President Barack Obama smiles as he arrives late Tuesday with Vice President Joe Biden to make a statement regarding the passage of the fiscal cliff bill in the Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

‘Fiscal cliff’ avoided: Legislation staves off tax hikes for middle class, raises tax rates on upper incomes

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Past its own New Year’s deadline, a weary Congress sent President Barack Obama legislation to avoid a national “fiscal cliff” of middle class tax increases and spending cuts late Tuesday night in the culmination of a struggle that strained America’s divided government to the limit.

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