President Obama on Friday signed a stopgap spending bill that cuts $6 billion from the current federal budget and provide funds to keep the government operating through April 8.
The measure, approved by the House and Tuesday and the Senate on Thursday, gives negotiators breathing room to try to hammer out a longer-term spending plan for the rest of the fiscal year, which ends Sept. 30.
Another stopgap bill passed in early March trimmed $4 billion in federal spending. It was set to expire March 18.
The $10 billion in cuts are far short of the $61 billion the GOP-controlled House agreed to trim from the federal budget for the rest of the fiscal year. But the Democratically controlled Senate rejected the larger House bill, and the impasse over the budget has forced Congress to consider short-term measures until a compromise can be reached.
CNN reported that top aides to the president and congressional leaders have been meeting in an effort to resolve their differences over the longer-term bill.
Meanwhile on Friday, more than 60 senators from both parties signed a letter urging Obama to "to support a broad approach to solving our current budget problems," the Washington Post reported.
The letter cites the recommendations of the presidential deficit reduction commission that, among other things, called for tax increases and a package of painful cuts.
"While we may not agree with every aspect of the Commission's recommendations, we believe that its work represents an important foundation to achieve meaningful progress on our debt," the senators wrote. "By approaching these negotiations comprehensively, with a strong signal of support from you, we believe that we can achieve consensus on these important fiscal issues."