Negotiators Agree on Defense Deal

The House and Senate have agreed on something: $640.7 billion for defense spending in the current fiscal year will go to the Pentagon and related programs at other agencies. The budget would benefit defense contractors, calls for added economic sanctions for Iran and includes $88.5 billion for the Afghan war. The measure will get a final approval at the House and Senate before being given to Obama to sign, but it’s still possible he could veto the decision. On Tuesday, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta called on lawmakers to cut $74 billion in “needless” spending on weapons—to no avail.