(Photo: Manuel Balce Ceneta, AP)
by David Jackson, USA TODAY
President Obama made it official Tuesday, signing a temporary spending bill that headed off a government shutdown.
The "Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act of 2013," which funds the government for the last six months of the current fiscal year, replaces a plan that had been set to expire Wednesday.
Known as a "continuing resolution," the new bill "extends funding levels for the government through the fiscal year at the levels already agreed to by both parties," said White House spokesman Jay Carney.
Congress approved the spending plan last week.
The stopgap spending bill also maintains sequestration, the $85 billion in automatic budget cuts that began to take take effect March 1.
Carney said Obama would continue asking congressional Republicans to replace the sequester with a "balanced" debt reduction plan that includes both cuts and more tax revenue from the wealthy through the elimination of loopholes.
"The president has presented ways, on numerous occasions, to eliminate the sequester entirely," Carney said.