The devil is in the details of the deal that got government restarted.
A number of earmarks were folded into the legislation to deliver unrelated funds to constituencies around the country.
- An Ohio River dam project got a budget increase to $2.9 billion, a benefit to Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell's home state of Kentucky.
- The family of Sen. Frank Lautenberg, who passed away in June, was guaranteed a $174,000 death gratuity, the equivalent of a year's salary. Roll Call listed the senator among Congress' 50 richest members in 2012.
- Colorado was pledged $450 million for rebuilding after floods that hit the Rocky Mountain foothills in September.
President Barack Obama on Wednesday signed the compromise deal passed by the House and Senate after weeks of stalemate. It extended the debt ceiling until Feb. 7 and reopened the government by approving funding only until Jan. 15.
Stephen Ellis, vice president of the federal budget watchdog Taxpayers for Common Sense, said of the earmark spending, "This will only increase voter cynicism about the process, if that is even possible."
—By CNBC's Eamon Javers.