Obama White House 11Oct2013
Gates terms the president "centralized and controlling" but shockingly at sea in dealing with the military. Reuters

President Barack Obama signed on Thursday a compromise budget deal approved by Democrats and Republicans in Congress that puts off the possibility of a government shutdown for two years and eases certain automatic spending cuts, CNN reports.

The president, who is vacationing in Hawaii with his family, also approved a defense spending bill that features provisions that change the way sexual assaults are dealt with in the U.S. military. It's a measure that also smooths the path for transferring prisoners from the Guantanamo Bay detention facility in Cuba, according to the news site.

The two-year U.S. budget agreement, which was negotiated by Congress earlier in December, and the National Defense Authorization Act were two of seven pieces of legislation signed by Obama, Reuters reports.

The U.S. Senate passed the budget deal on Dec. 18 to ease automatic spending cuts and reduce the risk of a government shutdown. Two day later, the Senate gave the green light to the annual defense policy bill, one of its final moves before exiting for its Christmas break.

According to Reuters, the act authorizes a Pentagon base budget in 2014 fiscal year of $526.8 billion, an amount that'll have to be reconciled with the $498 billion agreed upon in the budget deal.