The House Armed Services Committee on Thursday overwhelmingly backed a $642 billion defense bill that calls for construction of a missile defense site on the East Coast, restores aircraft and ships slated for early retirement, and ignores the Pentagon’s cost-saving request for another round of domestic base closings. Despite the clamor for fiscal discipline, the committee crafted a military spending blueprint that’s $8 billion more than the level President Obama and congressional Republicans agreed to last summer. The panel vote was 56-5.
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