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House panel unveils $608 billion defense bill

Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) – A House panel has unveiled a $608 billion defense spending bill that restores some of the programs the Pentagon wanted to cut next year and provides nearly $1 billion for Israeli missile defense programs.

The House Appropriations Committee released the bill on Monday that includes $519.2 billion for the fiscal 2013 base budget and $88.5 billion for the war in Afghanistan and other counterterrorism activities. That’s $1.1 billion more than the current level and $3.1 billion more than President Barack Obama requested.

The panel provided $278 million for a version of the Air Force’s Global Hawk, the high-altitude unmanned aircraft used for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance. The Pentagon wanted to mothball 18 of the drones.

Rep. Steve Rothman, D-N.J., said the committee also provided $1 billion for Israeli missile defense.

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