10 Apr 2011

Lower budget bill signed by Obama

1:27 pm on 10 April 2011

President Barack Obama has signed a short-term spending bill that averted a shutdown of the federal government in the United States.

Democrats and Republicans agreed late on Friday night to a compromise deal that cut about $US38 billion from the federal budget for the last six months of this fiscal year.

Mr Obama says it involved painful compromises and he would not have made the cuts in better circumstances.

The budget deal is a victory for Republicans, who won control of the House of Representatives in November on promises to scale back the federal government.

House Speaker John Boehner said it had been a "long fight".

The White House is now looking ahead to the next funding fights over federal funding.

The government could reach a $US14.3 trillion limit on its borrowing authority by mid-May and will need Congress to approve another increase in the debt ceiling.

Congress must also approve a budget for the next fiscal year, a fight that is likely to last well into the 2012 campaign season.