Over White House objections, the Senate passed a $612 billion defense policy bill that calls for arming Ukraine forces, prevents another round of base closures and makes it harder for President Obama to close the prison for terror suspects at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
The Senate voted 71 to 25 to approve the bill, which Obama has threatened to veto.
Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, urged his colleagues early Thursday to set aside differences about government spending and pass the measure, which authorizes money Obama requested for the Pentagon and other national security programs.
“The Middle East is literally on fire,” he said.
The bill now must be reconciled with the version passed by the House.