WASHINGTON (AP) — South Dakota lawmakers say a comprehensive, nearly $633 billion defense bill will help protect the state's interests.

The Senate approved a new defense policy bill late Thursday, a week after the House passed the same measure. It now goes to President Barack Obama.

The bill deals issues including combat pay for members of the military, funding for equipment and efforts to stop the epidemic of military sexual assaults.

Sen. Jon Thune says the bill will have a broad impact on South Dakota. He says it will help ensure the long-term future of Ellsworth Air Force base because it has language that supports future building of long-range strike bomber aircraft.

The Republican says that's important because it's part of Ellsworth's primary mission.

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