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US Senate Passes $612b Defense Bill
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US Senate Passes $612b Defense Bill

The US Senate on Thursday passed a $612 billion defense bill, dropping an amendment that proposed directly arming Iraqi Kurds and local tribes.

The Senate voted 71-25 to approve the National Defense Authorization Act for 2016 that outlines military and national security strategies, policies and the Defense Department’s budgetary appropriations.

The House approved the bill last month but with the amendment that authorized President Barack Obama to arm the Iraqi Kurdistan Regional Government and Sunni tribes in their fight against Islamic State, World Bulletin reported.

The support to Kurdish forces includes heavy weapons, ammunitions, logistics and communications equipment.

The White House insists it will veto the legislation because of some budgetary provisions, particularly an additional $38.3 billion to overseas contingency operations.

The administration requested $50.9 billion for the operations but the lawmakers increased it to $89.2 billion.

 

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