US House passes $584 bn defense bill, Senate vote due

Members walk down the steps of the House side of the US Capitol after voting on November 14, 2014 in Washington, DCThe House of Representatives adopted an annual US defense spending bill Thursday which includes emergency funding for military operations against Islamic jihadists in Iraq and Syria, as requested by President Barack Obama. The Senate still must pass the legislation — outlining $584.2 billion in federal military spending for fiscal year 2015, which began on October 1 — before Congress adjourns at the end of next week. It also includes Obama’s $5 billion request for funds to battle the Islamic State extremist group, including $3.4 billion for deployment of US forces as part of operation “Inherent Resolve,” and $1.6 billion for a program to equip and train Iraqi Kurdish forces for two years. “The security threats our nation faces are as grave as they are prolific, and it is imperative that we provide our military men and women the tools they need to keep America safe,” House Speaker John Boehner said after the bill’s passage.

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