House Pushes Ahead with $611 Billion Defense Policy Bill | Military.com: The Republican-led House is pushing ahead with a $611 billion defense policy bill that prohibits closing the prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, forbids the Pentagon from trimming the number of military bases and awards U.S. troops their largest pay raise in six years.
Lawmakers are scheduled to vote Friday on the legislation, which authorizes military spending for the fiscal year that started Oct. 1. The defense bill includes an agreement that prevents the Defense Department from forcing thousands of California National Guard troops to repay enlistment bonuses and benefits they received a decade after they signed up to serve in Iraq and Afghanistan.
During his 2008 bid for president, Barack Obama pledged to close the detention facility at Guantanamo, which he called a recruiting tool for extremist groups. But Republicans and a number of Democrats repeatedly thwarted his goal over the ensuing years, arguing the prison was badly needed for housing suspected terrorists. The ban on closing the prison also includes a prohibition on moving Guantanamo detainees to secure facilities in the U.S.
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