Obama signs stopgap spending bill after House passage

The House on Tuesday afternoon easily approved a stopgap bill funding the federal government through Nov. 18, and sent it to President Obama.

The president signed the continuing resolution into law early Wednesday.

The legislation was approved in a 352-66 bipartisan vote in which 170 Democrats voted "yes," a far cry from the six Democrats who supported an earlier version of the bill last month.

The result was expected, after both parties last week found a way around a fight over how much funding the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) needed. The Senate approved the measure last week. 

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In September, 48 House Republicans voted against a similar measure, mostly to protest the lack of deeper spending cuts. That forced GOP leaders to add language stripping money from a government program that made loans to Solyndra, after which only 24 Republicans opposed it.

In Tuesday's vote, on a bill that was essentially the same and did not include the Solyndra language, 53 Republicans opposed the final bill.

One sign that the controversy had ended was the quick debate that took place on the resolution. House leaders reserved an hour of time for debate on the bill, but used less than 10 minutes.

However, during the brief debate, House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers (R-Ky.) noted that FEMA would soon need additional disaster relief funding, and that his committee is looking into why FEMA suddenly decided last week that it did not need the money that Democrats had previously said it needed.

FEMA's sudden announcement was the breakthrough that allowed a final spending deal to be reached last week — it let Democrats to drop their prior demands for additional funding, and simultaneously allowed Republicans to jettison controversial cuts to a Department of Energy program Democrats want in order to offset the increased money for FEMA.

This story was updated at 12:35 a.m. on Wednesday.