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Senate Passes $560B 2015 Defense Authorization Bill

BudgetThe Senate has voted to pass the $559.2 billion negotiated version of the defense authorization bill for fiscal year 2015, appropriating $495.5 billion for Defense Department base funds and $63.7 billion in war funds, Defense News reported Friday.

John Bennett writes that the bill, if signed by President Barack Obama, will stop the retirement of the U.S. Air Force‘s A-10 fleet and fund the training of Syrian forces to counter the Islamic State group.

“[This] compromise bill, at the request of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, takes the first, needed steps in the area of benefits reform in order to help protect the readiness of our forces to carry out their missions,” Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.), chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said in a statement.

The Senate and House Armed Services Committees held closed-door talks earlier this year to reach a compromise on the 2015 National Defense Authorization Act after it was stalled in Congress.

The upper chamber voted 89-11 to send the bill to the White House, the report said.

Bennett reports that the bill includes prohibitions on A-10 flying hours and helicopter retirements for fiscal 2015, a $350 million budget for A-10 operations and maintenance and $1.6 billion to train and arm Iraqi soldiers.

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