WASHINGTON (AP) — The Pentagon has asked Congress for flexibility in keeping the military ready to fight with less money.

But those pleas are largely being ignored by the House Armed Services Committee.

The panel held a marathon session yesterday in a push to complete a $601 billion defense bill for the fiscal year beginning Oct. 1.

The blueprint keeps in place excess military bases, the Cold War-era U-2 spy plane, Navy cruisers and an 11th aircraft carrier, as lawmakers protect projects of interest to their home districts.

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