WASHINGTON - Legislation to block the "fiscal cliff" is headed to the White House for President Barack Obama's signature.

The deal was approved late last night as the House finally voted to approve the fiscal cliff bill.

The move will spare most Americans from significant tax hikes.

The measure will raise tax rates on families earning more than $450,000 a year and on individuals making more than $400,000.

The bill will also extend unemployment benefits for one year. However, it stops spending cuts, which is a disappointment to Republicans.

After the deal was reached last night, Obama praised lawmakers for reaching an agreement that protects the middle class.

Obama said "Thanks to the votes of Democrats and Republicans in Congress, I will sign a law that raises taxes on the wealthiest 2 percent of Americans while preventing a middle-class tax hike that could have sent the economy back into recession and obviously had a severe impact on families all across America."

The deal lets Congress shelf discussions on major spending cuts for another two months. After then, another showdown is likely looming.

The White House has not yet said when the president is expected to sign the bill.