Senate Clears Way for Passage of Big Defense Bill
WASHINGTON - The Senate has cleared the way for passage of a $662 billion defense bill that has drawn a threat of a presidential veto over provisions on the treatment of captured terrorism suspects.
The Senate voted 88-12 on Wednesday to limit debate on the legislation and move ahead. A final vote on the bill could come as early as Thursday.
The bill would authorize funds for military personnel, weapons systems, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and national security programs in the Energy Department. The bill is $27 billion less than what President Barack Obama requested for the budget year beginning Oct. 1.
The bill would require military custody for captured suspects who are linked to al-Qaida or its affiliates and who are involved in a plot against the United States.