President Bush on Tuesday evening signed into law a more than $600 billion continuing resolution package that funds the federal government through March 6. It includes three fiscal 2009 appropriations bills and $22.9 billion for disaster relief.
The bill funds most programs at fiscal 2008 levels but includes the fiscal 2009 Defense, Military Construction-VA and Homeland Security spending bills. Of the $22.9 billion in disaster relief funding, $7.9 billion goes into the Federal Emergency Management Agency's disaster relief fund.
The CR also grants a 3.9 percent 2009 pay raise to civilian federal employees.
The Senate passed the bill Saturday after the House approved it last Wednesday. The CR was needed because Congress had not passed any of the 12 annual appropriations that fund government programs. House Democratic appropriators grew discouraged with the appropriations process this year after Bush issued a pre-emptive threat earlier this year to veto any bill that spent more than he recommended.