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Senate Splits With House Over Arms

After four days of closed-door sessions, the Senate Armed Services Committee passed a 1996 authorizing bill that saves the much-disputed $1.5 billion third Seawolf submarine, limits the number of B-2 bombers to the 20 currently ordered and calls for the deployment of a national missile defense system at multiple sites by 2003.

In many areas, the committee either split the difference or went in the opposite direction as the House National Security Committee, whose authorization bill has already passed the House floor. This means there will be major issues to be settled in the House- Senate conference this summer, where both sides must reconcile their differences.

Under the Senate bill, defense spending would be $264.7 billion in 1996, about $7 billion more than Clinton requested and $3 billion less than the House authorized.

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