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Obama signs short-term spending bill, averting government shutdown

U.S. President Barack Obama speaks as he welcomes NASCAR driver Kyle Busch and his team to honor the Sprint Cup Series championship at the White House in Washington, U.S., September 28, 2016. 

REUTERS/Yuri Gripas

President Obama on Thursday signed a short-term measure to keep the government funded through Dec. 9, ahead of the Friday deadline to prevent a government shutdown. 

Mr. Obama signed the spending measure, which extends current spending levels for most of the government, before heading to Israel to attend former Israeli President Shimon Peres’s funeral. 

Congress passed the bill on Wednesday and left Washington for a six-week recess through the election to campaign in their districts. The House passed the bill 342-85 Wednesday night and the Senate passed the bill earlier in the day 72-26. 

The legislation includes 2017 funding for military construction projects and the Department of Veterans Affairs. Besides the regular government funding, it also provides $1.1 billion in emergency funding to fight the Zika virus, which will be offset by $400 million. In response to floods that ravaged Louisiana and other states recently, the legislation also provides $500 million in supplemental funding.

Its passage came after Democrats largely opposed the bill because it didn’t provide aid for Flint. Congressional leaders, however, hashed out a deal that will provide for Flint aid in a separate water resources development measure. 

When lawmakers return to Capitol Hill in November, they will only have about three weeks in session to strike another spending deal. Democrats are hoping to pass a package that would fund the government through the rest of the fiscal year, through Sept. 30, but some conservatives are pushing for a shorter-term deal. 

  • Rebecca Shabad

    Rebecca Shabad is a video reporter for CBS News Digital.