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House passes defense bill with punishments for military rape

2:11 PM, Jun 14, 2013   |    comments
In this June 22, 2012, image made from video, female airmen march during graduation at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio. (Photo: John L. Mone, AP)
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WASHINGTON (AP) - The House has passed a sweeping $638 billion defense bill imposing new punishments on military members found guilty of rape or sexual assault.

The Republican-controlled House voted 315-108 for the measure. It covers weapons, aircraft, ships and personnel.

The White House has threatened to veto the legislation because it blocks President Barack Obama from closing the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and limits his ability to reduce nuclear weapons.

Differences will have to be ironed out between this bill and a Senate measure that costs $13 billion less and would give Obama flexibility in handling terror suspects.

The House bill would require that anyone found guilty of a sex-related crime receive a punishment that includes, at a minimum, dismissal from military service or a dishonorable discharge.

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