House and Senate agree on sweeping defense bill

December 13, 2011 - 2:55 AM

WASHINGTON (AP) — Congress is pressing ahead with a massive defense bill that requires military custody for terrorism suspects linked to al-Qaida, including those captured within the U.S.

Lawmakers hope their last-minute revisions will satisfy President Barack Obama and erase a White House veto threat.

Leaders of the House and Senate Armed Services Committees announced late Monday that they had reached agreement on the policy-setting legislation. It had gotten caught up in an escalating fight on whether to treat suspected terrorists as prisoners of war or criminals.

The White House had no immediate comment late Monday, and it's unclear whether it will hold firm on its veto threat.

The bill would authorize $662 billion for military personnel, weapons systems, national security programs in the Energy Department, and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.