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Obama signs temporary federal spending bill

By the CNN Wire Staff
The bill President Obama signed will keep the government funded through March.
The bill President Obama signed will keep the government funded through March.
  • President Obama has signed a bill that keeps the government funded through March 4
  • The incoming Republican House is likely to fight with Obama over the rest of the fiscal year
  • The current measure freezes federal pay for two years

Washington (CNN) -- President Barack Obama signed a bill Wednesday that will maintain most funding levels for the federal government for another ten weeks, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said.

The previous law funding the government -- a so-called continuing resolution -- expired Tuesday at midnight. The current extension will keep the government running until March 4.

While the so-called "continuing resolution" that Obama signed largely puts government spending on autopilot, it does include some adjustments to spending levels, including a two-year freeze in pay for federal workers that Obama called for in November.

The measure also leaves key Democratic legislative victories -- like health care and financial reform -- with less funding than if a massive $1.1 trillion "omnibus" extension had passed; Republicans killed that extension last week.

Republicans are set to take control of the House of Representatives in January, virtually guaranteeing a political fight over the budget for the remainder of the fiscal year.

Typically, lawmakers pass 12 appropriation bills for the president's approval. Those bills give federal agencies the legal authority to spend and conduct business.

This year, the Senate has not approved one of the 12.

CNN's Charley Riley, Alan Silverleib, and Tom Cohen contributed to this report