Obama signs funding bill, avoiding shutdown

President Obama on Tuesday signed the continuing resolution that will keep the government funded through the end of the fiscal year, averting a government shutdown.

The six-month stopgap measure will keep government agencies funded through Sept. 30, maintaining funding at $984 billion. The bill cleared the House last Thursday in a 318-109 vote.

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The funding measure includes spending cuts that were part of the sequester — $85 billion in across-the-board cuts implemented earlier this month after lawmakers failed to reach a budget deal.

Earlier Tuesday, White House press secretary Jay Carney said that the president's plans to sign the continuing resolution should not be interpreted in any way as an endorsement of the sequester cuts.

"There is no question that we believe we should not have come to this point where sequester would be imposed," Carney said. "There's no question that we believe regular folks out there are being unnecessarily harmed by imposition of the sequester, which as designed by Democrats and Republicans purposefully never to become law, to be filled with nonsensical approaches to deficit reduction."

Carney added that Obama's willingness to sign the continuing resolution did not mean the White House had lost the grander budget argument pitting new revenues against additional government cuts. Republicans have said a deal to offset the sequester and reduce the deficit should consist solely of entitlement reforms and budget cuts. Democrats have called for a package that includes both new taxes on wealthy individuals and corporations, as well as more modest government cuts.

Carney said "the president hopes… that we can move forward and find common ground" on an eventual deal.