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WASHINGTON (AP) – The Republican-led House is pushing ahead with a $611 billion defense policy bill that prohibits closing the prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and forbids the Pentagon from trimming the number of military bases.
The annual policy bill also awards U.S. troops their largest pay raise in six years.
Lawmakers are scheduled to vote Friday on the legislation, which authorizes military spending for the 2017 fiscal year.
The defense bill includes an agreement that prevents the Defense Department from forcing thousands of California National Guard troops to repay enlistment bonuses and benefits they received.
The defense bill also blocks the Pentagon’s planned reductions in the number of active-duty troops. The Army is prohibited from falling below 476,000 soldiers. The bill adds 7,000 service members to the Air Force and Marine Corps.
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