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Obama Signs Defense Policy Bill, Objects on Guantanamo

HONOLULU — President Barack Obama says he has signed into law a defense policy bill that authorizes $611 billion to run the military in 2017.

The legislation provides a 2.1 percent pay hike for the military and again blocks the president's efforts to close the prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Obama says the bill provides vital benefits for military personnel and their families. However, it also contains some provisions that he finds objectionable or raise constitutional concerns.

Obama is citing the continued operation of Guantanamo among his objections. He says that spending hundreds of millions of dollars to keep fewer than 60 men in isolation undermines U.S. standing in the world and emboldens violent extremists.

He says that unless Congress changes course on Guantanamo, "it will be judged harshly by history."