US House Passes USD 633 B Defense Bill
The US House of Representatives has passed a USD 633 B defense authorization bill which includes news sanctions against Iran and funds the war in Afghanistan.
In addition to covering the US security expenses, it also provides a 1.7% pay raise for the military, authorizes the Pentagon to pay for abortions in cases of rape and incest and lifts a ban on same-sex marriage ceremonies on military bases, international media report.
The legislation, which passed 315-107, ended an indefinite restriction on the transfer of Guantanamo detainees to the United States or other countries, instead extending the current restrictions by one year.
The National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 2013, which began in October, was hammered out by House and Senate conferees in recent days after each chamber voted to approve separate versions of the bill.
The 2013 NDAA is expected to pass the Senate later Thursday or Friday, clearing the way for President Barack Obama to sign it into law.
USD House and Senate conferees had to compromise on overall spending figures for the bill, settling on USD 527.4 B for the base Pentagon budget; USD 88.5 B for overseas contingency operations including the war in Afghanistan; and USD 17.8 B for national security programs in the Department of Energy and the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board.
The bill also authorizes USD 9.8 B for missile defense, including funds for a Pentagon feasibility study on three possible missile defense sites on the US East Coast.
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