US House approves $649 bln for defense in 2012

WASHINGTON - The US House of Representatives voted on Friday to fund $649 billion in defense spending next year, overcoming opposition from war-weary lawmakers over US involvement in Afghanistan and Libya.
The measure, approved by a 336-87 vote, would raise the Pentagon's base budget for the 2012 fiscal year beginning Oct. 1 by about $17 billion over current levels.
The bill must be melded with a Senate version -- still weeks from completion -- before it can be presented to President Barack Obama for his signature.
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