House panel works on bill to rebuff Pentagon cuts

WASHINGTON (AP) — A House panel plunged into a marathon session to craft a defense policy bill. The bill rebuffs the Pentagon’s plea to close military bases, retire Cold War-era aircraft and increase out-of-pocket costs for service members.

The House Armed Services Committee began an all-day, all-night session on Wednesday. The $601 billion bill would authorize spending on ships, weapons, planes and personnel after more than a decade of two wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The overall spending for the fiscal year that begins Oct. 1 adheres to the limits imposed by a deficit-driven, bipartisan agreement.

That has forced lawmakers to cut $1.4 billion from President Barack Obama’s request for training, operations and maintenance to pay for work on an 11th aircraft carrier and to allow the U-2 spy plane to continue flying.