WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama says an effort to change the nation's tax code that is too skewed toward the wealthy has been achieved with the "fiscal cliff" deal approved in Congress.
The president said in an appearance late Tuesday in the White House that the House vote to prevent a mix of tax increases and spending cuts avoids a problem that could have sent the economy back into recession.
Obama says the deficit is "still too high" and warns that he will not negotiate with Congress over another increase in the nation's debt ceiling.
The House approved Senate-backed legislation preventing middle-class tax increases and spending cuts that technically took effect with the new year.
It represented a triumph for Obama after he campaigned for re-election on higher taxes on the wealthy.
Since the vote occurred, Obama will depart Washington late Tuesday night and return to Hawaii for vacation .
(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)