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Obama Signs 2010 Defense Budget Into Law

WASHINGTON - Defense officials are hailing passage of the fiscal 2010 budget that funds military programs and wartime operations in Afghanistan and Iraq and provides a military pay raise.

President Barack Obama signed the 2010 Department of Defense Appropriations Act into law Dec. 19 after the Senate approved it during a rare early Saturday session. The Senate passed the measure by an 88-to-10 vote.

The $636.3 billion legislation provides $128.3 billion for operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, and a 3.4 percent military pay raise.

The law also extends various authorities and other non-defense fiscal 2010 appropriations, White House officials announced. Most of those provisions involved temporary extensions of emergency unemployment and health-care benefits that had been set to expire.

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates issued a joint statement Dec. 18, pressing the Senate for action.

“We strongly urge Senate passage of the Defense Appropriations Bill today, prior to expiration of the current continuing resolution,” the statement said. “Passage today will provide important support for our foreign policy and national security priorities and ensure continuity of funding for our troops in combat and for all of the Department of Defense.”

The House passed the legislation Dec. 16, 2009.

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