House passes revised defense policy bill

Reuters News
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Posted: Nov 05, 2015 10:45 AM

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly on Thursday to pass a new version of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) with $5 billion in spending cuts that were not included in a version of the legislation vetoed last month by President Barack Obama.

The vote was 370-58 for the measure authorizing more than $600 billion in defense spending.

The House's Republican leaders had said they would not attempt a vote to override Obama's veto if the measure passed. The Senate is expected to vote on, and pass, the revised NDAA as soon as next week.

Democratic lawmakers and aides said they expect Obama will sign the revised bill if it passes as expected, but the White House has not made his intentions clear.

The spending cuts reflect a budget agreement between the Obama administration and congressional leaders that addressed the Democratic president's main concern about the NDAA, its use of special war funds to let the Pentagon avoid mandatory spending cuts.

However, the revised bill still contains stiff restrictions on transfers of prisoners from the detention center at the U.S. naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Obama, who has vowed to close the controversial prison, had said those restrictions were another reason for his veto.

(Reporting by Patricia Zengerle; Editing by Doina Chiacu and Lisa Lambert)