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Government budget funding extended

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) — President Bush signed temporary funding legislation Friday to keep the government open through Oct. 16 while lawmakers and the White House work to wrap up the fiscal 2002 budget.

The White House said Bush signed legislation, approved earlier this week by the House and the Senate, which will provide funds for continuing projects and activities of the federal government through Oct. 16. The fiscal 2002 budget year begins Monday. Congressional negotiators and the White House are near agreement on $686 billion in federal spending for fiscal 2002.

The two sides have been haggling for weeks over several billion dollars of additional spending. The $686 billion represents an average 8 percent increase above this year's level, much higher than the 4 percent spending rise originally sought by Bush.