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House votes overwhelmingly to give $700 billion defence bill

WASHINGTON – House Republicans and Democrats joined forces to approve an annual defense-policy bill that authorizes $700 billion for the Pentagon and order a more rapid build-up of the nation’s missile defenses.

Lawmakers voted 356-70 to give up on the legislation. Once the Senate approves the measure, which is expected to do, the invoice will be sent to President Donald Trump for his signature.

The defense bill allots slightly more than $634 billion for core Pentagon operations and $66 billion for the war missions in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, and elsewhere. The funding boost to pay for more troops and weapons, the bill’s backers say are needed to halt erosion of the military’s combat readiness.

The legislation includes $12.3 billion for the Pentagon’s Missile Defense Agency against the growing nuclear threat from North Korea.

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