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Obama signs short-term funding bill

By the CNN Wire Staff
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • President Obama signs a bill extending government funding through April 8
  • Negotiators are working on a deal to cover the remainder of the current fiscal year
  • The temporary measure cuts spending by $6 billion

Washington (CNN) -- President Barack Obama signed legislation Friday that will keep the federal government funded through April 8, according to a statement from the White House.

The move delays a potential shutdown and gives Democratic and Republican negotiators more time to work out differences on spending priorities for the remainder of the current fiscal year, which ends September 30.

The stopgap bill, which cuts $6 billion from current funding levels, was approved by both the Senate and the House of Representatives this week.

With support waning for additional short-term spending bills, lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have vowed to make this the last temporary measure before striking an agreement on a longer-term bill.

For several weeks, top aides to the president and congressional leaders have been meeting quietly behind the scenes to resolve their differences over a longer-term bill. Vice President Joe Biden, who was in the Capitol on Thursday for a St. Patrick's Day lunch, spent time on the Hill discussing the budget with lawmakers, according to his spokeswoman.

Republicans are pushing for about $61 billion in cuts overall while Democrats say they will accept only a fraction of that. Complicating the disagreement over spending levels is the insistence by conservative Republicans that a host of controversial policy changes be included in a long-term bill. The changes would block funding for Planned Parenthood, prevent the implementation of the new health care law and impose other restrictions opposed by most Democrats.

CNN's Ted Barrett and Alan Silverleib contributed to this report.