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The Latest: Senate approves $700 billion defense policy bill

September 18, 2017
FILE - In this Sept. 5, 2017, file photo, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., walks from his Senate office as Congress returns from the August recess in Washington. The Senate is poised to pass a defense policy bill that pumps $700 billion into the Pentagon budget, expands U.S. missile defenses in response to North Korea’s growing hostility and refuses to allow excess military bases to be closed. McCain has guided the bill toward passage over the last week as he railed against Washington gridlock and political gamesmanship.(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)
FILE - In this Sept. 5, 2017, file photo, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., walks from his Senate office as Congress returns from the August recess in Washington. The Senate is poised to pass a defense policy bill that pumps $700 billion into the Pentagon budget, expands U.S. missile defenses in response to North Korea’s growing hostility and refuses to allow excess military bases to be closed. McCain has guided the bill toward passage over the last week as he railed against Washington gridlock and political gamesmanship.(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on the Senate’s passage of the defense policy bill for the 2018 budget years (all times local):

6:50 p.m.

The Senate has approved a defense policy bill that authorizes a $700 billion Pentagon budget.

The measure sailed through the chamber, 89-8, even though lawmakers have yet to agree on a plan for waiving restrictions imposed by a six-year-old law to control government spending.

The Senate bill would provide $640 billion for core Pentagon operations, such as buying weapons and paying troops, and another $60 billion for wartime missions in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and elsewhere.

The budget the Trump administration submitted to Congress sought $603 billion for basic functions and another $65 billion for overseas missions.

The Senate bill includes $8.5 billion to strengthen U.S. missile defense systems. There’s also $10.6 billion for 94 Joint Strike Fighter aircraft, which is two dozen more of the jet fighters than Trump requested.

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4 a.m.

The Senate is poised to pass a defense policy bill that recommends billions of dollars more in military spending than President Donald Trump requested.

The legislation is expected to be approved Monday evening by a wide margin.

The measure authorizes a $700 billion Pentagon budget for the fiscal year beginning Oct. 1, expands U.S. missile defenses in response to threats from North Korea and refuses to grant the Trump administration permission to close excess military bases.

The Senate bill would provide $640 billion for core Pentagon operations, such as buying weapons and paying troops, and another $60 billion for wartime missions in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and elsewhere.

The budget the Trump administration submitted to Congress sought $603 billion for basic functions and another $65 billion for overseas missions.

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