Despite President Obama threatening a veto, the House of Representatives today passed a $612 billion military spending bill, which includes a baseline $523 billion and around $90 billion in Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) funds.
The OCO number is bigger than even the White House had requested, and several hawkish amendments to the bill have led the White House to threaten a veto.
The funding of the OCO has been hugely controversial. Theoretically for war spending, much of the OCO funding in the bill had nothing to do with war, according to Pentagon officials. Funds in the OCO are able to be moved around by the Pentagon more easily than general budget items, meaning a lot of this funding is likely to get shifted to pet projects.
The vote was 269-151, with just eight Republicans voting against it, and 41 Democrats voting in favor in spite of White House objections.
The bill will have to be reconciled with the Senate version, which is dramatically different, particularly on the issue of Guantanamo Bay. The Senate is calling for a path toward closure of the facility, while the House is adding restrictions on the release of detainees.
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