WASHINGTON – The Republican-led House has passed a multibillion-dollar defense policy bill that faces a veto threat from President Barack Obama.

Thursday’s vote was 270 to 156.

The $612 billion defense policy bill authorizes an increase in funding that Obama requested, but he’s unhappy with the way lawmakers did it.

The House increased defense spending by padding a separate war-fighting account with an extra $38.3 billion. That account – for overseas contingency operations – is not subject to the budget limits.

Obama and congressional Democrats say the bill breaks through spending caps when it comes to defense at a time when funding for domestic agencies is restricted.

Republicans say the bill authorizes money for national security amid global threats, ensuring money for ships, aircraft and military personnel.

Among its provisions, the bill would authorize more than $1 billion in additional spending for destroyers built at Bath Iron Works, as well as changes to a federal program that could help lure more development to the former Brunswick Naval Air Station.

Maine’s delegation split on voting, with Rep. Chellie Pingree, D-1st District, voting no and Rep. Bruce Poliquin, R-2nd District, voting in favor.

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