Senate approves bill to avert "fiscal cliff"

WASHINGTON Tue Jan 1, 2013 1:57am EST

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Senate on Tuesday, two hours after a December 31 deadline had lapsed, approved legislation aimed at averting the "fiscal cliff" by stopping most tax hikes and across-the-board spending cuts that were due to begin with the new year.

The House of Representatives still must approve the measure, possibly on Tuesday.

(Reporting by Richard Cowan and David Lawder; Editing by Eric Walsh)

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