Obama Signs 2012 Budget Bill to Fund Some Agencies

November 18, 2011

President Obama has signed a spending bill that sets 2012 budgets for five Cabinet-level departments, as well as NASA and a number of smaller agencies. The measure also extends short-term funding for other agencies until Dec. 16 at close to last year's levels. A previous continuing resolution (CR) was set to expire at midnight Friday, meaning that the new measure averts the possibility of a partial government shutdown for another four weeks.

Obama inked the measure Friday after it easily cleared the House and Senate on Thursday.

Besides NASA, the $128 billion bill covers the Agriculture, Commerce, Justice, Transportation and Housing and Urban Development departments.

The 2012 legislation marks the first time that Congress has approved an annual appropriations bill — as opposed to a CR — since late 2009. In the debate preceding Thursday's House vote, top lawmakers voiced hope that Congress could approve all remaining 2012 spending legislation by next month. The 2012 fiscal year began in October. 

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