House passes $636B defense bill

Dec. 16, 2009 at 4:05 PM
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WASHINGTON, Dec. 16 (UPI) -- The U.S. House passed a $636 billion defense spending bill that also would extend jobless benefits and healthcare for out-of-work Americans another few months.

The vote was 395-34 Wednesday.

The Pentagon bill for fiscal 2010 also included several temporary extensions of current laws due to expire at the end of the year, including the Patriot Act designed to make it easier for the U.S. government to fight terrorism.

The bill also would provide a 3.4 percent military pay increase but did not include funding to send 30,000 additional troops to Afghanistan as President Obama called for early this month. The price tag was estimated to be about $30 billion.

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