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U.S. President Barack Obama winks as he arrives with Vice President Joe Biden (L) in the briefing room to make remarks after the House of Representatives acted on legislation intended to avoid the ''fiscal cliff,'' at the White House in Washington January 1, 2013. The Republican-controlled House backed a tax hike on the top U.S. earners shortly before midnight on Tuesday, ending weeks of high-stakes budget brinkmanship that threatened to spook consumers and throw financial markets into turmoil. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst