House passes $611B defense policy bill by wide margin

Richard Lardner
Associated Press

Washington — The House has approved a $611 billion defense policy bill that rejects a number of President Barack Obama’s proposals for managing the nation’s vast military enterprise.

Lawmakers passed the legislative package Friday by a wide margin of 375-34. The bill now goes to the Senate, where a vote is expected early next week.

The legislation would prohibit Obama from closing the prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and would deny the Pentagon’s bid to start a new round of military base closings.

The legislation would award U.S. troops their largest pay raise since 2010. The White House has warned granting a higher raise would upset a careful balance between paying service members competitive salaries and acquiring cutting-edge equipment and training.

The bill also would block the Pentagon’s planned reductions in the number of active-duty troops.