Obama signs bill for defense, jobless benefits

AP News
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Posted: Dec 21, 2009 7:37 PM

President Barack Obama has signed into law a bill that combines another round of war spending with help for the unemployed.

The $626 billion defense bill contains $128 billion for operations in Iraq and Afghanistan and a 3.4 percent pay raise for the military. Obama signed the bill Saturday; the White House announced it Monday.

Lawmakers wrapped unrelated economic help into the legislation. The nation is emerging from recession but still dogged by double-digit unemployment.

The new law includes two-month extensions of unemployment benefits for the long-term jobless. It also has health care subsidies for people out of work, along with money for highways and transit systems.