WASHINGTON (AP) -- Urging full financial support for the U.S. court system, Chief Justice John Roberts says in his year-end report that the federal judiciary, unlike executive branch agencies, does not have discretionary programs it can eliminate or projects it can postpone.

He issued the report amid a New Year's Eve drama in which President Barack Obama worked with Congress to avert the fiscal cliff. The White House and congressional Republicans agreed to block across-the-board tax increases set for midnight, but held up a final deal as they haggled away the final hours of 2012 in a dispute over spending cuts.

Roberts says that because the judiciary has already pursued cost-containment so aggressively, it will become increasingly difficult to economize further without reducing the quality of judicial services.