WASHINGTON — Congress sent President Barack Obama a $633 billion defense bill for next year that would tighten penalties on Iran to thwart its nuclear ambitions and bulk up security at diplomatic missions worldwide after the deadly Sept. 11 raid in Libya.

The Senate voted 81-14 on Friday for the massive policy measure that covers the cost of ships, aircraft, weapons and military personnel. The vote came less than 24 hours after the House passed the bill, 315-107.

The White House has threatened a veto, but it remains unclear whether President Barack Obama will reject the solidly bipartisan legislation. The bill passed by veto-proof margins.

The vote came against the backdrop of looming reductions in projected military spending driven by the automatic, across-the-board cuts that will take place if the "fiscal cliff" negotiations fail. The Pentagon faces cuts of $55 billion after the first of the year that Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has warned would be devastating to the services.

Even if that is averted, the bill approved Friday reflects cuts in defense dollars that Obama and congressional Republicans agreed to in August 2011 as well as the end to the war in Iraq and the drawdown of U.S. forces in Afghanistan. The bill would authorize $528 billion for the Defense Department's base budget, $17 billion for defense and nuclear programs in the Energy Department and $88.5 billion for the war in Afghanistan.

The bill is about $29 billion less than the current level, largely due to smaller amounts for Iraq and Afghanistan.

In a speech this week, Panetta complained that lawmakers spared weapons that he had wanted to retire and steered money to other programs. The bill, which is $1.7 billion more than Obama requested, saves a version of the Global Hawk unmanned aircraft, includes upgrades for tanks and money for armored vehicles.

"Aircraft, ships, tanks, bases, even those that have outlived their usefulness, have a natural political constituency," Panetta said. "Readiness does not."

"What's more, readiness is too often sacrificed in favor of a larger and less effective force. I am determined to avoid that outcome."

Panetta said members of the House and Senate "diverted about $74 billion of what we asked for in savings in our proposed budget to the Congress, and they diverted them to other areas that, frankly, we don't need."

The bill responds to new threats and upheaval around the globe while still providing billions for the decade-plus war in Afghanistan. The measure presses the military on possible options to end the bloodshed in Syria.

The final measure, a product of negotiations between the House and Senate, addresses several concerns raised by the Obama administration. It would eliminate restrictions on alternative fuels that the White House had complained about and jettison limits on the administration's ability to implement a nuclear weapons reduction treaty.

The bill would limit the president's authority to transfer terrorist suspects from the military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, for one year – a provision similar to current law. That had drawn complaints from the White House.

Election-year politics and changes in society shaped the final measure.

As suicides among active-duty soldiers have accelerated, the bill would allow a commander officer or health profession to ask if a member of the services owns a firearm if they consider the individual at risk for either suicide or hurting others.

Negotiators kept a Senate-passed provision sponsored by Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., that expands health insurance coverage for military women and their dependents who decide to have abortions in cases of rape and incest.

Previously, health coverage applied only to abortions in cases where the life of the mother was endangered.

Democrats argued throughout the election year that Republicans were waging a "war on women" over contraception and abortion, a charge the GOP denied. Democrats and Obama held a clear edge with female voters in the election and some Republicans are reappraising their approach to issues important to women.

Negotiators jettisoned a House provision that would have banned gay marriage on military installations, weeks after the chapel at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point held its first same-sex marriage. A senior Army chaplain conducted the ceremony. The bill does have a conscience clause for chaplains.

The measure includes a 1.7 percent pay raise for military personnel.

The legislated sanctions would hit Iran's energy, shipping and shipbuilding sectors as well as Iran's ports, blacklisting them as "entities of proliferation concern." The bill would impose penalties on anyone caught supplying precious metals to Iran, and sanctions on Iranian broadcasting.

The bill eliminated a House provision barring the military from buying alternative fuels if the cost exceeds traditional fossil fuels, a measure that had drawn a veto threat. Instead, negotiators said the Pentagon could do so as long as the Energy and Agriculture departments make their financial contributions to the work.

The bill also watered down a House effort to require construction of an East Coast missile defense site, instead pressing the Pentagon to study three possible locations.

Months after the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, that killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans, the bill would provide an additional 1,000 Marines for embassy security.

Reacting to relentless violence in Syria, the bill would require the Pentagon to report to Congress on possible military options.

The bill would authorize nearly $480 million for U.S.-Israeli missile defense, including $211 million for Iron Dome, the system designed to intercept short-range rockets and mortars fired by Palestinian militants from Gaza at southern Israel.

The agreement retained a Senate provision that stops the Pentagon from sending additional spies overseas until Congress has answers about the cost and how the spies would be used.

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    New Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel is greeted as he arrives for his first day at the Department of Defense, on February 27, 2013 in Arlington, Va. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

  • Leon Panetta (July 2011 - February 2013)

    Secretary of Defense Leon E. Panetta pauses while speaking during a ceremonial swearing-in at the Department of Defense July 22, 2011 in Washington. (Source: <a href="http://www.defense.gov/specials/secdef_histories/">Department of Defense</a>)

  • Robert Gates (Dec. 2006 - July 2011)

    Robert Gates speaks during his ceremonial swearing in as the 22nd defense secretary on Dec. 18, 2006 at the Pentagon. (Source: <a href="http://www.defense.gov/specials/secdef_histories/">Department of Defense</a>)

  • Donald Rumsfeld (Jan. 2001 - Dec. 2006)

    U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld holds his press conference at the Pentagon briefing room on Jan. 26, 2001 in Arlington, Va. (Source: <a href="http://www.defense.gov/specials/secdef_histories/">Department of Defense</a>)

  • William Cohen (Jan. 1997 - Jan. 2001)

    Secretary of Defense designate William Cohen testifies during confirmation hearings before the Senate Armed Services Committee on Jan. 22, 1997 in Washington. (Source: <a href="http://www.defense.gov/specials/secdef_histories/">Department of Defense</a>)

  • William Perry (Feb. 1994 - Jan. 1997)

    U.S. Defense Secretary William Perry points to a reporter during a press conference on April 21, 1994 in Seoul, Korea. (Source: <a href="http://www.defense.gov/specials/secdef_histories/">Department of Defense</a>)

  • Les Aspin (Jan. 1993 - Feb. 1994)

    U.S. Secretary of Defense Les Aspin released new regulations governing gays in the military during a press on Dec. 22, 1993 at the Pentagon. (Source: <a href="http://www.defense.gov/specials/secdef_histories/">Department of Defense</a>)

  • Dick Cheney (March 1989 - Jan. 1993)

    U.S. Defense Secretary Dick Cheney (L) meets Egypt's President Hosni Mubarak, on April 3, 1989, at Washington. (Source: <a href="http://www.defense.gov/specials/secdef_histories/">Department of Defense</a>)

  • Frank Carlucci (Nov. 1987 - Jan. 1989)

    U.S. Defense Secretary Frank Carlucci testifies before the Senate Armed Services Committee on July 13, 1988 in Washington. (Source: <a href="http://www.defense.gov/specials/secdef_histories/">Department of Defense</a>)

  • Caspar Weinberger (Jan. 1981 - Nov. 1987)

    Caspar Weinberger, Secretary of Defense on Feb. 9, 1981. (Source: <a href="http://www.defense.gov/specials/secdef_histories/">Department of Defense</a>)

  • Harold Brown (Jan. 1977 - Jan. 1981)

    General Alexander M. Haig, right, retired as NATO commander, walks with Defense Secretary Harold Brown during an awards ceremony on July 3, 1979 at Fort Myer, Va. (Source: <a href="http://www.defense.gov/specials/secdef_histories/">Department of Defense</a>)

  • Donald Rumsfeld (Nov. 1975 - Jan. 1977)

    A 1976 photo of Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. (Source: <a href="http://www.defense.gov/specials/secdef_histories/">Department of Defense</a>)

  • James Schlesinger (July 1973 - Nov. 1975)

    Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Dayan, left, with Secretary of Defense James R. Schlesinger, chats on Friday, Jan. 5, 1974 at the Pentagon. (Source: <a href="http://www.defense.gov/specials/secdef_histories/">Department of Defense</a>)

  • Elliot Richardson (Jan. 1973 - May 1973)

    Elliot L. Richardson speaks to newsmen Oct. 23, 1973 at a press conference held at the Department of Justice. (Source: <a href="http://www.defense.gov/specials/secdef_histories/">Department of Defense</a>)

  • Melvin Laird (Jan. 1969 - Jan. 1973)

    Secretary of Defense Melvin R. Laird as he departed from Andrews Air Force Base Md., for Paris on Jan. 5, 1971 in Washington. (Source: <a href="http://www.defense.gov/specials/secdef_histories/">Department of Defense</a>)

  • Clark Clifford (March 1968 - Jan. 1969)

    This is an Oct. 1968 photo of Secretary of Defense Clark Clifford as he announces his support for President Johnson's decision to halt the bombing of North Vietnam. (Source: <a href="http://www.defense.gov/specials/secdef_histories/">Department of Defense</a>)

  • Robert McNamara (Jan. 1961 - Feb. 1968)

    PARIS, FRANCE: US Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara smiles as he arrives 27 November 1965 at Paris' NATO headquarters. (Source: <a href="http://www.defense.gov/specials/secdef_histories/">Department of Defense</a>)

  • Thomas Gates (Dec. 1959 - Jan. 1961)

    Secretary of Defense Thomas S. Gates Jr., center, poses with Benjamin M. McKelway, left, editor of the Washington Evening Star and President of the AP, and AP General Manager Frank J. Starzel at the April 25, 1960 meeting of the Associated Press in New York. (Source: <a href="http://www.defense.gov/specials/secdef_histories/">Department of Defense</a>)

  • Neil McElroy (Oct. 1957 - Dec. 1959)

    Defense Secretary Neil McElroy said he has "fullest confidence that the United States is ahead of the Soviets..." prior to the announcement of the Soviet's achievement in launching the first earth satellite, Oct. 4, 1958. (Source: <a href="http://www.defense.gov/specials/secdef_histories/">Department of Defense</a>)

  • Charles Wilson (Jan. 1953 - Oct. 1957)

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  • Robert Lovett (Sept. 1951 - Jan. 1953)

    Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower (right) watches President Harry S. Truman and Gen. Omar Bradley help Defense Secretary Robert Lovett (left) get in place as the men posed on the south lawn of the White House on June 1, 1952 in Washington. (Source: <a href="http://www.defense.gov/specials/secdef_histories/">Department of Defense</a>)

  • George Marshall (Sept. 1950 - Sept. 1951)

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  • Louis Johnson (March 1949 - Sept. 1950)

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  • James Forrestal (Sept. 1947 - March 1949)

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