By Erik Wasson - 12/23/11 07:44 PM EST
President Obama signed a separate measure on Friday providing an additional $8.6 billion in disaster aid. The House wanted the disaster aid offset by spending cuts, but the Senate rejected a third House-passed bill that would have provided the offsets.
The signing of the spending bill caps a year of contentious spending battles that saw a near-government shutdown in April and a debt-rating downgrade in August as the U.S. nearly defaulted on its obligations when Congress threatened not to raise the debt ceiling.
That debt-ceiling debacle resulted in an agreement on spending caps that greatly smoothed passage of the omnibus.
The bill was not without incident, however, and last week the White House and the GOP had a mini-standoff about policy riders in the bill. The White House was able to get a ban on family travel to Cuba removed but did not get extra funding for Wall Street reform that it had been seeking.
The White House also gave up on a provision in the bill blocking District of Columbia-funded abortions.
The House GOP needed Democrats to pass the omnibus, and 86 GOP members voted against it, saying it spends too much money.
House Appropriations Committee ranking member Norm Dicks (D-Wash.) hailed Obama's signature on the bill.
"The Appropriations Committee has begun to restore its reputation as a workhorse committee, finding ways to resolve our differences without drama and quietly getting our work done," he said.