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The Republican-led House is pushing ahead with a USD 611 billion defence policy bill that prohibits closing the prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and forbids the Pentagon from trimming the number of military bases. The annual policy bill also awards US troops their largest pay raise in six years. Lawmakers are scheduled to vote today on the legislation, which authorises military spending for the 2017 fiscal year. The defence bill includes an agreement that prevents the Defense Department from forcing thousands of California National Guard troops to repay enlistment bonuses and benefits they received. The defence bill also blocks the Pentagon's planned reductions in the number of active-duty troops.
The Army is prohibited from falling below 476,000 soldiers. The bill adds 7,000 service members to the Air Force and Marine Corps.