Congress sends defense bill with military pay raise to President Trump

(AP) – The Senate has given final congressional approval to a $716 billion defense policy bill that would raise military pay by 2.6 percent, the largest pay hike in nine years.

The 87-10 vote Wednesday sends the bill to the White House for President Donald Trump's expected signature.

The compromise bill weakens a bid to clamp down on the Chinese telecom giant ZTE and allows the president to waive sanctions against countries that bought Russian weapons but now want to buy U.S. military equipment.

The bill does not fund Trump's request for a new "Space Force" as an independent service branch but authorizes a military parade he wants in Washington in November.

House and Senate lawmakers negotiated the bill after each chamber approved competing versions. The House approved the compromise last week.

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