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How Congress voted

Here are the votes of area members of Congress on key issues last week.

SENATE APPROVES TALBOTT FOR STATE DEPARTMENT DEPUTY POST: The Senate confirmed Strobe Talbott on Tuesday as deputy secretary of State, but not before leading Republicans sharpened their attacks on his past writings and his prospects for a future promotion.

Divided along partisan lines, the Senate voted 66-31 to confirm Talbott as the State Department's second-ranking official.

Republicans cast all 31 nay votes, while 12 GOP senators joined with 54 Democrats to provide the margin of victory.

Talbott, who previously served as President Clinton's ambassador-at-large for the former Soviet Union, had been expected to waltz into the deputy secretary's slot without significant opposition.

But many Republicans appeared in no mood for a coronation as they skewered the former Time magazine columnist and the administration's posture toward international affairs.

Voting to confirm Strobe Talbott as deputy secretary of State: Graham (D).

Voting against: Mack (R).

HOUSE DENOUNCES REMARKS AS "RACIST SPEECH': The House on Wednesday took the unusual step of condemning a 1993 speech by an aide to Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, despite some concerns that the action violated the spirit of constitutional free speech protections.

The controversy began after Farrakhan's spokesman, Khalid Abdul Muhammad, attacked whites, Catholics, Jews and homosexuals in a speech delivered at a Kean College in Union, N.J., in November.

The resolution, which passed the House 361-34, condemned Muhammad for his "racist, anti-Catholic and anti-Semitic speech."

Rep. Tom Lantos, D-Calif., principal sponsor of the resolution, said, "It is the duty of responsible legislative bodies to condemn such speech in clear and certain terms."

Voting to condemn the speech of Khalid Abdul Muhammad: Bacchus (D), Brown (D), Gibbons (D), Hutto (D), Johnston (D), Meek (D), Peterson (D), Thurman (D), Bilirakis (R), Canady (R), Fowler (R), Goss (R), Lewis (R), McCollum (R), Mica (R), Miller (R), Ros-Lehtinen (R), Stearns (R), Young (R).

HOUSE PROTECTS PRIVATE SCHOOL INDEPENDENCE: The controversy over freedom in private schools bubbled in the House on Thursday, as lawmakers passed an amendment 374-53 that prohibits federal control of private schools that do not receive government money.

The amendment also includes religious and home schools.

While no Republican opposed the amendment, 53 Democrats did.

The issue, which was part of the larger debate on the elementary- and secondary-education bill, had been brewing for the past few weeks.

Private schooling advocates feared the bill's language would have permitted the government to govern their education curriculum.

"These people (private-school supporters) have what we now can clearly all understand and agree is an extraordinary commitment to the preservation of their own freedom as parents and educators," said Rep. Dick Armey, R-Texas, sponsor of the amendment.

Voting to prohibit federal control of private schools: Bacchus (D), Brown (D), Gibbons (D), Hutto (D), Peterson (D), Thurman (D), Bilirakis (R), Canady (R), Fowler (R), Goss (R), Lewis (R), McCollum (R), Mica (R), Miller (R), Ros-Lehtinen (R), Stearns (R), Young (R).

Voting against: Johnston (D), Meek (D).

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