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National Briefing / WASHINGTON, D.C.

House passes $612-billion defense bill

September 25, 2008|From Times Wire Reports

The House passed a mammoth package for the Pentagon that contains a pay raise for troops and billions of dollars for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The 392-39 vote sent the $612-billion defense authorization bill to the Senate, which was expected to pass it this week.

To earn President Bush's signature rather than a veto, House and Senate negotiators dropped several provisions he opposed, including a ban on private interrogators in U.S. military detention facilities.

The measure would permit $612.5 billion in spending for national defense programs in 2009, including $68.6 billion for operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. It also includes a 3.9% pay increase for military personnel.

A separate bill would have to be passed to spend the money cleared by the authorization bill.

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