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House Panel Backs $642 Billion Defense Bill

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WASHINGTON (AP) — A House panel has backed a $642 billion defense bill that adds billions more to President Barack Obama’s budget in addition to projects the Pentagon doesn’t want.

The Armed Services Committee vote Thursday morning was 56-5.

The committee backed the construction of a missile defense site on the East Coast even though the Pentagon said the threats to the U.S. mainland do not warrant such a facility. It also rejected Pentagon calls to mothball 18 Air Force Global Hawk drones. The panel restored three of the four Navy cruises slated for early retirement in next year’s budget.

The full House is expected to vote on the spending blueprint next week.

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