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Senate backs quicker withdrawal from Afghanistan

By DONNA CASSATA Published: November 30, 2012

The overall bill authorizes $631 billion for weapons, ships, aircraft and a 1.7 percent pay raise for military personnel. The White House threatened to veto the legislation in its current form, citing limits on the president's authority in handling detainees at the U.S. military facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and restrictions on cuts to the Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve.

The Senate hopes to wrap up its version of the bill by week's end. It then would have to be reconciled with the legislation the House passed in May. The House bill calls for Obama to maintain a force of at least 68,000 troops through the end of 2014.

The Senate eliminated one provision that had attracted White House objections. In a strong bipartisan vote Wednesday, the Senate voted to allow Pentagon investment in alternative fuels.

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