via BBC News

Republicans and Democrats have reached a deal on the US budget, an hour before a deadline that would have forced the government to close many services.

They have passed a stop-gap spending bill which will allow the government to keep running while the wider budget plan is finalised.

The parties have agreed to slash about $38bn from spending for the year until 30 September.

President Barack Obama said the cuts would be difficult but necessary.

“Some of the cuts we agreed to will be painful,” he said.

“Programs people rely on will be cut back. Needed infrastructure projects will be delayed. And I would not have made these cuts in better circumstances.”

He said it was the “the biggest annual spending cut in history”.

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