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Posted: Thursday, 26 December 2013 6:05PM

Obama Signs Bipartisan Budget Agreement, Defense Bill



Official White House Photo by Pete Souza(WASHINGTON) -- While on vacation in Hawaii, President Obama has signed a number of bills, including the bipartisan budget agreement to ease automatic spending cuts, as well as a $632 billion defense authorization bill.

The defense bill not only gives troops a 1% pay raise, but also contains significant protections for victims of sexual assault. The new measures require the dishonorable discharge or dismissal of anyone convicted of sex crimes, eliminate the statute of limitation for rape cases, and make it a crime to retaliate against victims. Under the new law, commanders will no longer be able to overturn court-martial convictions in sex assault cases.

The defense bill also includes a provision making it easier to reduce the prison population at Guantanamo Bay. Half of the approximately 150 detainees still at the prison could be impacted by a measure allowing the president to send home detainees who've never been charged with a crime.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


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