HONOLULU – Rounding out a tough and frustrating year, President Barack Obama signed a bipartisan budget deal Thursday easing spending cuts and a defense bill cracking down on sexual assault in the military, as the President and Congress began pivoting to the midterm election year ahead.
Obama put his signature on both hard-fought bills while vacationing in Hawaii, where he has been regrouping with his family since Saturday.
The bill signing marks one of Obama’s last official acts in a year beset by a partial government shutdown, a near-default by the Treasury, a calamitous health care rollout, and near-perpetual congressional gridlock.
Although the budget deal falls short of the grand bargain that Obama and congressional Republicans once aspired to, it ends the cycle of fiscal brinkmanship – for now – by preventing another shutdown for nearly two more years. (AP)