By Rebecca Shabad - 09/19/14 04:32 PM EDT
President Obama signed a $1 trillion stopgap spending bill Friday afternoon at the White House that also authorizes his plan to aid Syrian rebels to fight Islamic militants.
The president signed the measure, which averted a shutdown and kept the government funded through Dec. 11, at 4:30 p.m. in the Oval Office.
“As I said last week, I believe that we’re strongest as a nation when the president and Congress work together. And I want to thank leaders in Congress for the speed and seriousness with which they approached this urgent issue — in keeping with the bipartisanship that is the hallmark of American foreign policy at its best,” Obama said from the White House State Dining Room.
The proposed plan is the president's next step in the battle against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.
Lawmakers had planned to vote on the spending bill last week, but Obama’s request to include the authorization for Syrian rebels delayed the critical vote.
The bill prevents another government shutdown on Oct. 1, when fiscal 2015 begins. Last October, the government shut down for 16 days after the White House and House GOP disagreed over providing funding to Obamacare. GOP lawmakers hoped to avoid a similar situation with November’s midterms looming.
The bill also extends the charter for the Export-Import Bank through June 30, 2015, and it provides additional funding to combat the Ebola epidemic and for the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Appropriators are aiming to combine 12 individual appropriations bills into an omnibus spending bill in the lame-duck session, after November’s midterm elections.