WASHINGTON, Sept 17 (Reuters) – The U.S. Senate on Wednesday overwhelmingly approved a $612.5 billion defense spending bill for fiscal 2009, including $70 billion for operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.
As passed on an 88-8 vote, the measure would authorize $103.9 billion for Pentagon procurement, $1.2 billion more than President George W. Bush’s request. Overall, Bush had asked for $611.1 billion for national defense.
The bill shifts more of the costs of Iraq’s reconstruction onto Baghdad. It also puts further restrictions on contractors working in Iraq, including prohibitions on interrogations and the performance of “inherently governmental functions” in combat.