December 8, 2016 / 6:00 PM / 8 months ago

Massive annual defense policy bill passes U.S. Congress

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WASHINGTON, Dec 8 (Reuters) - The U.S. Senate passed a compromise version of an annual defense policy bill on Thursday without controversial policy changes such as requiring women to register for the draft or allowing federal contractors to make religion-based hiring decisions.

As voting continued, 81 senators backed the National Defense Authorization Act, or NDAA, and seven opposed it. Because it passed the House of Representatives last week, the bill now goes to the White House for President Barack Obama to veto or sign into law.

The White House would not comment on Thursday on what Obama would do. On Dec. 2, a spokesman had said officials were still reviewing the legislation.

Reporting by Patricia Zengerle; additional reporting by Timothy Gardner; Editing by Richard Chang

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