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House presses ahead to complete $649B defense bill

WASHINGTON (AP) - The House is pressing to finish a $649 billion defense spending bill that sends mixed messages on the U.S. military operation against Libya.
The bill provides money for the Pentagon and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan beginning Oct. 1. It's $9 billion less than President Barack Obama sought but $17 billion more than current levels.
Lawmakers hope to wrap up the bill today. The Senate still must pass its version and then reconcile it with the House legislation.
On Thursday, the House voted to prohibit military aid to Libyan rebels fighting Moammar Gadhafi (MOO'-ah-mar gah-DAH'-fee) but stopped short of cutting off funds for U.S. participation in the NATO-led mission, now in its fourth month.
Obama angered lawmakers by not seeking congressional consent for the operation.


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