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UPDATED: 07:44, September 30, 2006
U.S. congress approves defense bill
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The U.S. congress on Friday approved the defense bill for the 2007 fiscal year after it had been passed by the Senate unanimously.

U.S. President George W. Bush is expected to sign it into law this week.

The bill, a compromise between the House of the Representatives and the Senate, authorized the U.S. military to spend 448 billion U.S. dollars in the fiscal year starting Oct. 1.

The bill provides 378 billion dollars for core military programs, a 5-percent increase on a year-on-year basis.

The core spending includes 86 billion dollars for personnel costs, 81 billion dollars for the procurement of new weapons, 120 billion dollars for operations and maintenance, 76 billion dollars for research and development, and other components.

The remaining 70 billion dollars are earmarked for Iraq and Afghanistan, an amount which is 40 billion dollars less than the White House had asked for.

Nevertheless, Congress has so far approved 507 billion dollars for the war efforts in Iraq, Afghanistan and other overseas areas since the 9/11 terror attacks.

The war in Iraq has so far cost 379 billion dollars, and operations in Afghanistan have consumed 97 billion dollars.

Source: Xinhua

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