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US Senate presses ahead on defense bill despite divisions

AP , Friday 10 Jun 2016
Congress
File photo of US Congress. (Photo: Reuters)
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The Senate has moved ahead on a $602 billion defense policy bill that would bar the closing of the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and require young women to register for the draft.

In a rare Friday session, the Senate voted 68-23 to proceed despite numerous disagreements over potential amendments to the bill.

Debate this week has exposed divisions within Republican ranks over adding $18 billion to military spending despite budget limits and a program that allows Afghan civilians who assisted the American-led coalition to escape being harmed or killed by the Taliban.

Sen. John McCain, chairman of the Armed Services Committee, expressed his frustration, saying unfortunately there were objections to all amendments to the bill.

The legislation authorizes spending for the military beginning Oct. 1.

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