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Posted at 5:57 PM ET, 03/ 2/2011

Obama signs two-week government funding resolution into law

By Felicia Sonmez

President Obama has signed a stopgap measure to keep the government funded through mid-March, averting a federal shutdown -- at least for the time being.

The White House announced Wednesday afternoon that Obama had signed the bill, H.J.Res. 44, into law. The measure, which will cut $4 billion in spending by targeting programs that Obama has already marked for elimination and reductions, will keep the government running through March 18, giving Congress and the White House two more weeks to work out a compromise on a longer-term funding measure.

The Senate passed the measure Wednesday morning on a 91-to-9 vote, one day after the House passed it on a 335-to-91 vote.

The White House on Wednesday announced that it has tapped Vice President Joe Biden, White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley and Budget Director Jack Lew to negotiate a longer-term agreement with Congress. Asked about the upcoming negotiations during Wednesday's press briefing, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney declined to go into detail.

"We will look to these negotiations to find the common ground that we believe exists," Carney said. "And we expect that those who are participating in the negotiations in Congress will also demonstrate a willingness to find common ground by, again, moving towards the middle."

By Felicia Sonmez  | March 2, 2011; 5:57 PM ET
 
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