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Obama signs $410 billion spending bill

March 11, 2009

WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Barack Obama has signed a $410 billion spending package that will keep the federal government operating through September.

The bill includes thousands of earmarks, which are targeted spending items inserted by individual lawmakers.

Obama has criticized the overuse of earmarks, and he called the bill imperfect. But he said it is necessary to keep federal agencies from closing down.

Obama signed the bill in private, an indication of his discomfort with it.

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