President Barack Obama has signed a stopgap budget bill that will keep the Federal government funded into March.
Obama signed the legislation on Dec. 22, a day after the measure was approved by the House and Senate. The $250 billion budget was passed just in time to beat another deadline that threatened to shut down the government. Lawmakers were forced to agree to a series of short-term funding measures the past several months because Congress failed to enact any of the 12 annual spending bills during the previous fiscal year (FY).
The bill includes funding that is in line with spending levels from FY 2010, which ended on Sept. 30. The budget contains $160 billion for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and it excludes thousands of earmarks that were proposed by lawmakers.
Republicans will have majority in the House when the next budget has to be decided by March 4. According to The Wall Street Journal, the GOP would like to roll back Federal spending to 2008 levels, which could produce savings of $100 billion. However, Democrats will still control the Senate and Obama has the authority to veto any piece of legislation.
Although Republicans have yet to specify which programs will be cut in the coming year, domestic spending requests and funds to implement Obama's healthcare reform are likely targets.
“All options are on the table,” Representative Hal Rogers (R-Ky.) told Politico.com.