President Obama signed a measure on Friday that formally extends funding for the federal government for another three weeks.

The president signed into law the continuing resolution passed by Congress earlier this week that funds the government through April 8. It also reduces spending this year by $6 billion. 

This is the stopgap measure Obama and leaders in Congress were forced to pass in order to avoid a government shutdown.

The government's funding authority would have run stopped late Friday without action by Congress; the government will shut down now on April 8 unless the administration and Congress can come to an agreement on another funding measure.

Congressional leaders and the White House are now focused on trying to reach a deal on a measure to keep the government funded through Sept. 30, when the current fiscal year ends. 

This will be difficult given policy differences between the two sides. Republicans want language in the measure to defund Planned Parenthood, for example, which Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) on Thursday said he will not agree to include in the bill. 

Moving another short-term spending bill through Congress will be difficult. Members in both parties have expressed opposition to another short-term measure, and the number of votes against this week's spending bill increased in both chambers.