House panel snubs Pentagon on defense spending

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Pentagon is running into an election-year roadblock in persuading Congress to back proposed cuts in defense spending.

A week ago, the House voted for a broad defense policy bill. But now the House panel that decides defense spending has come out with a $570 billion plan that spares an aircraft carrier, gives military personnel a 1.8 percent pay raise and backs the full housing allowance for troops.

The bill also bars the transfer to the U.S. of suspected terrorists held at Guantanamo Bay. President Barack Obama has tried to close the facility since his inauguration more than five years ago.

The Pentagon had proposed retiring ships and planes, and wanted a 1 percent pay raise. But lawmakers have resisted the cuts to favorite weapons and programs.