Defense Bill Clears Senate, Faces Likely Veto

The Democratic-controlled Senate late Thursday passed 93-7 a $662 billion defense bill that President Obama has threatened to veto over a provision that requires the military to hold terror suspects linked to al-Qaida or its affiliates, including non-U.S. citizens captured on American soil. "We need the authority to hold those individuals in military custody so we aren't reading them Miranda rights," said Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., a supporter of the bill. But Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, FBI Director Robert Mueller and the White House opposed the military’s expanded role, arguing they need more flexibility to prosecute the war on terror. Thursday’s $662 billion bill is $27 billion less than Obama had requested and $43 billion less than what Congress gave the Pentagon this year. The Senate also voted unanimously to back sanctions on Iran.

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