April 15th, 2011
05:52 PM ET
WASHINGTON (CNN)President Barack Obama signed the budget agreement covering federal spending for the remainder of the current fiscal year on Friday, an administration official said, bringing an end to any remaining fears of a government shutdown.
The bipartisan deal, which won approval Thursday from both the House and Senate, cuts $38.5 billion in spending while funding the government through September 30.
With its passage, White House and congressional leaders now turn their attention to what are expected to be more rancorous battles over the budget for the next fiscal year and the upcoming need to raise the federal debt limit.
The deal covering the current year was announced by key leaders shortly before midnight last Friday, a mere hour before what would have been the start of a partial shutdown. Spokesmen on both sides of the aisle portrayed it as a step toward controlling America's skyrocketing debt.
The House vote also reflected growing liberal angst and anger over the impending spending reductions. Only 81 Democrats backed the measure; House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-California, voted no.
In the Democratic-controlled Senate, the final vote was 81-19.
Under the deal, $38.5 billion will be cut from the budget, including funding from a wide range of domestic programs and services such as high-speed rail, emergency first responders and the National Endowment for the Arts.
As part of the agreement, Congress also voted Thursday on measures to de-fund Planned Parenthood and Obama's health care overhaul. As expected, both passed the House and were defeated in the Democratic-controlled Senate.
One point of concern for conservatives was a report released Wednesday by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office showing that of the $38.5 billion in savings, only $352 million will actually be realized this fiscal year. Boehner insisted Thursday that all of the cuts will take effect eventually, but conceded that the analysis caused a degree of "confusion" among House members.
"I'm disappointed," said freshman Rep. Joe Walsh, R-Illinois. "I just think we could have gotten more."