House pushes ahead with $611 billion defence policy bill
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WASHINGTON — The Republican-led House is pushing ahead with a $611 billion
Lawmakers are scheduled to vote Friday on the legislation, which authorizes military spending for the fiscal year that started Oct. 1. The
During his 2008 bid for president, Barack Obama pledged to close the detention facility at Guantanamo, which he called a recruiting tool for extremist groups. But Republicans and a number of Democrats repeatedly thwarted his goal over the ensuing years, arguing the prison was badly needed for housing suspected terrorists. The ban on closing the prison also includes a prohibition on moving Guantanamo detainees to secure facilities in the U.S.
President-elect Donald Trump has not only pledged to keep Guantanamo open, he said during the campaign that he wants to "load it up with some bad dudes."
The White House Office of Management and Budget objected to the larger raise, telling lawmakers earlier this year that the lower amount would save $336 million this fiscal year and $2.2 billion through 2021. A bigger raise, it said, would upset the needed balance between competitive pay and acquiring cutting-edge equipment and training.
House and Senate negotiators who crafted the
The negotiators elected instead to boost the wartime account, which isn't constrained by mandatory budget limits, by $3.2 billion to help halt a decline in the military's ability to respond to global threats. The decision may have been motivated by Trump's assurances that he would increase
Lawmakers also inserted into the
Lawmakers avoided wading more deeply into social policy issues by stripping two contentious provisions from the bill. One, opposed by Democrats, would have allowed federal contractors to discriminate against workers on the basis of sexual or gender orientation. Another, opposed by Republicans, would have required for the first time in U.S. history that young women sign up for a potential military draft.
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