Obama signs spending bill, averts government shutdown

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President Obama today signed into law a temporary spending measure to keep the government funded for another three weeks while Congress continues to battle over a longer-term budget.

The three-week budget bill included $6 billion in spending cuts to appease conservatives who want to see Congress slash record levels of government spending.

Republican leaders in the House managed to pass the temporary measure on Tuesday, overcoming dissent from Tea Party-aligned members who wanted more cuts. The Democratic-led Senate accepted more cuts than they wanted to pass the bill on Thursday.

Had the legislation failed, the federal government would have shut down today. Now that there's funding for another three weeks, Congress must pass another bill to avoid a shutdown on April 8. Both Democrats and Republicans have said they are through passing short-term spending bills and that the next bill to pass should pay for the rest of the 2011 fiscal year.

Both parties will have to rein in their more ideological members in order to broker a compromise. Combined with the previous short-term spending measure Congress passed, the new GOP House majority has already forced $10 billion in cuts from this year's budget.