House passes defense spending bill

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Sunday, January 16, 2011; 11:11 PM

By Perry Bacon Jr. The House on Wednesday passed a major bill that provides more than $100 billion for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and also extends programs that provide unemployment insurance and health care for people who have lost jobs in the recession. With Congress rushing to finish its work before the end of the year, the $636 billion bill to fund the Department of Defense also included several temporary extensions of current law on several provisions that were due to expire at the end of the year, and Congress had not yet determined if or how it should change current law. Under the bill, unemployment and health care benefits for the jobless are extended temporarily until next March, as is a controversial law passed in 2001 called the Patriot Act that is designed to make it easier for the U.S. government to fight terrorism. The bill, which


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