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Defying Pentagon, House pushes to finish $601 billion defense bill that spares favored weapons

The House is bucking the Pentagon and pressing ahead with a $601 billion defense authorization bill that spares planes, ships and military bases in an election-year nod to hometown interests.

Republicans and Democrats are expected to vote overwhelmingly Thursday for the sweeping policy bill. The White House has threatened a veto, complaining that lawmakers put parochial interests ahead of modernizing and training the military to fight.

Defense spending is being cut after more than a decade of fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan, and deficit-driven budget reductions take a toll.

The Pentagon proposed retiring decades-old aircraft programs, including the A-10 Warthog and the U-2 spy plane of the Cold War era.

Republicans and Democrats balked.

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