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President signs $1.1 trillion government spending bill

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Posted: Saturday, January 18, 2014 12:00 am

WASHINGTON -- President Barack Obama on Friday signed a $1.1 trillion spending bill that funds the federal government through the end of September.

Obama put his signature on the 1,582-page measure the day before federal funding was set to run out. He made the short walk from the White House to sign it at a nearby conference center, saying he wanted the ceremony held there because the bill is the product of the hard work of the many budget office employees who work there.

"We would not be here and we would not be able to sign this legislation if it hadn't been for your work and your dedication," the president said. "And so this is my way of saying thank you."

He noted that many budget office employees were furloughed during last October's 16-day government shutdown and that those who remained on the job had to pick up the slack.

The compromise measure passed both houses of Congress this week by overwhelming margins.

It funds every agency of the federal government and also scales back automatic across-the-board spending cuts, known as the sequester, that hit the Pentagon and major domestic programs last year.

The measure calls for less spending than Obama had proposed but more than Republicans sought. However, lawmakers of both parties were determined to avoid a repeat of the political showdown that caused the government shutdown.

Before he sat down, Obama looked at the blue box that held the bill and exclaimed: "Goodness gracious, that is a big piece of business. That is a big bill."

© 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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