President Barack Obama signed into law on Monday new legislation raising the nation's debt ceiling.

Obama signed H.R. 4314, a bill to increase the amount of debt legally allowed to be held by the U.S. government, during his vacation in Hawaii.

The legislation, which was approved by the House and the Senate in the waning days of their December sessions, increases the ceiling by $290 billion to a total legal limit of $12.394 trillion.


The timing of the Senate's vote last Thursday on extending the ceiling had been tied to the timing of its work on a healthcare bill, which passed in a party-line, 60-39 morning vote last week.

The increase to the debt ceiling passed by the same margin.

Republicans allowed Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) to hold the debt vote and schedule it early on Christmas Eve in exchange for votes on several prize GOP measures next year, including an effort to end the $700 billion bailout program, the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP).

Obama signed two other bills into law, one of which extends the government's authority to pay out "claims in excess of what is covered by required insurance for catastrophic damages arising out of a licensed commercial space launch or reentry," as well as a law extending trade benefits to developing nations.