President Obama on Thursday signed the National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 2014, the White House announced.
The annual measure authorizes appropriations and lays out policies for the Defense Department and other national security programs.
The defense bill provides $552 billion in baseline funding and an additional $80 billion for the Afghanistan war and other overseas military operations.
The measure passed the Senate on Dec. 19 in an overwhelming 84-15 vote after senators initially failed to send it to Obama’s desk by Thanksgiving.
In past years, the annual bill passed both chambers of Congress with little controversy, but this year’s legislation was delayed amid contentious fights on reforming the military’s handling of sexual assaults, the fate of terror suspects at Guantanamo Bay and efforts by lawmakers to pass tougher sanctions on Iran.
“I have signed this annual defense authorization legislation because it will provide pay and bonuses for our service members, enhance counterterrorism initiatives abroad, build the security capacity of key partners, and expand efforts to prevent sexual assault and strengthen protections for victims,” said Obama in a statement.
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