Thursday, October 29, 2009

Obama signs 2010 US defence budget

Barack Obama, the US president, has signed into law a $680bn defence budget for the next fiscal year, which includes $170bn in funding for the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

The 2010 defence authorisation bill, which Obama signed at the White House on Wednesday, drops funding to several expensive projects.

"I have always rejected the notion that we have to waste billions of dollars of taxpayer money to keep this nation secure," Obama said at the signing ceremony, which was also attended by Robert Gates, the US defence secretary, and Joe Biden, the country's vice-president.

"I think wasting these dollars makes us less secure. That is why we have passed a defence bill that eliminates some of the waste and inefficiency in our defence process; reforms that will better protect our nation, better protect our troops and save taxpayers tens of billions of dollars," Obama said.

The bill also contained an expansion to the definition of federal hate crimes, to include criminal acts based on gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or disability.

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