The Straits Times
Published on Dec 21, 2012

US House approves $772b defence Bill despite Pentagon concerns


WASHINGTON (AP) - The House on Thursday overwhelmingly passed a US$633 billion (S$772 billion) defence Bill for next year despite Pentagon complaints that it spares outdated but politically popular weapons at the expense of the military's ability to fight.

The vote was 315-107, sending the legislation to the Senate, where leaders hoped to wrap up the measure. The White House had threatened a veto of earlier versions of the Bill, and spokesman Jay Carney said on Thursday that the threat still stands.

The far-reaching policy Bill that covers the cost of ships, aircraft, weapons and military personnel would authorise US$528 billion for the Defence Department's base budget, US$17 billion for defence and nuclear programmes in the Energy Department and US$88.5 billion for the war in Afghanistan.

The Bill is US$1.7 billion more than what President Barack Obama requested.