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Obama signs defense, budget bills into law

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President Barack Obama on Thursday signed into law the compromise US budget bill recently negotiated by feuding lawmakers and a massive defense bill that takes a step toward ultimate closure of Guantanamo.

After signing the legislation while vacationing in Hawaii with his family, Obama praised the National Defense Authorization Act for allowing accelerated repatriation of detainees from the U.S. naval facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

"I am encouraged that this act provides the executive greater flexibility to transfer Guantanamo detainees abroad, and look forward to working with the Congress to take the additional steps needed to close the facility," Obama said in a statement.

The new law still forbids transfer of Guantanamo detainees to the United States, a restriction Obama opposes.

He said "the continued operation of the facility weakens our national security by draining resources, damaging our relationships with key allies and partners and emboldening violent extremists."

The bill assures $552.1 billion in military spending, as well as $80.7 billion for overseas contingency operations, namely the war in Afghanistan.

It allows for a one-percent raise for military personnel and requires reforms in the way the Pentagon handles some sexual assaults in the military.

The broader budget agreement also signed by the president lays out top-line spending limits for 2014 and 2015, and erases $63 billion in arbitrary spending cuts that were to take effect Jan 1.

Critically, it reduces the threat of a government shutdown after Jan 15, the date by which Democrats and Republicans from both chambers will have to craft a series of spending bills under the new limit.

Failure to do so would risk another shutdown like the one that paralyzed Washington for 16 days in October, but this month's modest deal makes it far easier for lawmakers to negotiate appropriations.

The bill increases the $967 billion cap for 2013 spending to $1.012 trillion next year and $1.014 trillion in 2015, and reduces the deficit by about $23 billion over 10 years.

© (c) 2013 AFP

©2021 GPlusMedia Inc.

4 Comments
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" a massive defense bill"

They really need to make that less massive.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Can anyone say military industrial complex? Bloody hell, too bad 25% of it couldn't be spent on education, medical research AND a decent program for medical coverage!

1 ( +3 / -2 )

America is going to be destroyed financially if reckless spending like this isn't stopped.

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“I am encouraged that this act provides the executive greater flexibility to transfer Guantanamo detainees abroad, and look forward to working with the Congress to take the additional steps needed to close the facility,” Obama said in a statement.

That doesn't mean the prisoners are being freed, it means they're being relocated to further away prisons where things can be done to them that are illegal. So, I hope that is not the source of claiming he's talking about repatriation of detainees. In no way does that paragraph discuss such a thing at all. They have had it planned for a very long time to transfer such prisoners to further away prisons to bypass anti-torture laws, and thus close the prison they got in trouble for being proven to be breaking our laws.

The new law still forbids transfer of Guantanamo detainees to the United States, a restriction Obama opposes.

Why? They're not Americans, so to want them to be relocated here is very questionable, and reminds of Project paperclip.

He said “the continued operation of the facility weakens our national security by draining resources, damaging our relationships with key allies and partners and emboldening violent extremists.”

That doesn't make sense. They hardly keep those people alive, and the place is clearly cheap in itself. It cannot possibly be expensive to keep the place going. In fact, it'll cost more to keep them in prisons here. So, the claim is false, he lied. And, if he told one lie, the entire thing must be questioned. Weakens our national security? Nope. Damaging our relationships with key allies? LoL That's laughable! By "key allies" he means fake allies who are really enemies, but are being legally set up as allies for some moronic reason, and retained as such even when their soldiers are killing our soldiers openly. So, the whole thing's a lie. As for what has extremists, and allies mad... It's not the prion. It's the actions, beliefs, and opinions of many offensive, hostile citizens of our country. Also, the extremists are paid by , and given orders from our government, with it proven, so... Pointless to act like those acts are done on radical whims, as most everyone knows it's false flags.

The bill assures $552.1 billion in military spending, as well as $80.7 billion for overseas contingency operations, namely the war in Afghanistan.

Really? They're still mass-murdering people in Afghanistan, and screwing up their country for the benefit of Europeans, without any care for if American citizens approve of these actions? And, it's adding another $552.1 billion to the debt that will destroy or government once it's not permitted to keep getting loans, and such? For Europeans? Are we their slaves? Do they own us? I'm certainly not their slave, and fail to see why so many others are allowing this. It's treason.

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