As expected, President Barack Obama on Friday signed H.J. Res 48 into law on Friday, enacting a 3 week measure to fund the government until April 8.

The President's signature came on March 18, the last day before funding would end for various federal government projects and activities.

The move will give Republicans and Democrats in Congress additional time to negotiate a budget that will fund the federal government until the end of the government's fiscal year, which ends September 30.

The Senate approved the measure on Thursday. The House approved it last Friday. Lawmakers from both major parties have said they wanted to avoid a shutdown.

The talks during the the next few weeks will involve Republicans pushing for $61 billion in overall cuts to the federal budget for the remainder of fiscal 2011, while Democrats will urge less and smaller smart cuts to the federal budget.

The fiscal 2012 budget is already in the form of a proposal made by President Barack Obama last month.

Republicans have promised to tackle head reforms for long-term budget concerns - including the federal entitlement programs of Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare. Lawmakers from the party have criticized Obama for not making his own proposal for the programs, saying he has failed to lead by not doing so.

Republicans leaders have previously said they will make their proposals by late March or early April.