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Saturday, December 3, 2011

Senate passes massive defense spending bill | The State Column

Senate passes massive defense spending bill

The State Column | | Friday, December 02, 2011

The Senate voted 93-7 in favor of a $662 billion defense bill Thursday that would require the military to detain suspected terrorists on U.S. soil.

The bill  authorizes money to go towards national security programs in the Energy Department and to support military personnel and weapons systems for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and is $27 billion less than what President Barack Obama requested.

The Senate also voted 100-0 unanimously in favor of placing strict sanctions on Iran, amid rumors of the middle eastern country developing a nuclear weapons program.

“Iran’s actions are unacceptable and pose a danger to the United States and the entire world,” Senate majority leader Harry Reid (D-NV) said Thursday.

“Iran supports terrorist groups, arms the killers of American soldiers, lies about its nuclear program, violates its citizens’ basic rights and threatens Israel’s security,” Mr. Reid added.

President Barack Obama has previously threatened to veto the bill, claiming that it limits the power of the executive branch regarding control of terror detainees. Neither Mr. Obama or his White House staff commented on the passage of the bill Thursday.

U.S. citizens are subject to the same terms as non citizen terrorist suspects under the bill, a measure that Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) provided an exception for American citizens not to be subject to the bill’s legislation. Feinstein’s exception legislation was voted down, by a majority 99-1 vote.


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