GOP CRIME SWEEP CONTINUES

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The Republican-controlled House continued to rewrite President Clinton's 1994 crime law, voting 265-156 to boost prison construction funding by $2.6 billion, and 380-20 to speed the deportation of illegal aliens. The legislation makes the funding contingent on states imposing several tough sentencing rules, including one requirement that violent felons serve at least 85 percent of their sentenced time. House Minority Leader Richard Gephardt said such a federal mandate runs counter to the GOP promise to give states more power. The crime bills, fourth and fifth in a six-part package, also would ban televisions from federal prison cells. Next item on the GOP list: letting states fund recreation programs with grants originally slated for hiring police. Clinton suggested he may veto that because he is committed to putting 100,000 more cops on the streets.