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Stephen Dinan

Stephen Dinan

Stephen Dinan can be reached at sdinan@washingtontimes.com.

Articles by Stephen Dinan

Rep. Lamar Smith, of Texas and chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, said President Obama was putting "illegal immigrants ahead of the interests of American citizens and legal immigrants." (Associated Press)

Hardship claim extended for immigration applicants

Moving yet again to streamline the immigration process, the Obama administration on Friday proposed new hardship rules to make it easier for illegal immigrants to apply for legal status and stay in the country if they have a family member who is here legally. Published January 8, 2012

Republican presidential hopeful Buddy Roemer.

No major takers for federal campaign funds

Not a single major candidate has signed up to take taxpayer-supported matching funds for his presidential campaign this year, signaling the death of the system that had controlled campaigns since the Watergate era. Published January 8, 2012

**FILE** Immigrant rights groups and community members rally in Los Angeles on Aug. 15, 2011, for an end to the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) Secure Communities Program, which was created in 2008 and calls for police to submit suspects' fingerprints to DHS so they can be cross-checked with federal deportation orders. (Associated Press)

Obama expands 'hardship' waiver for illegal immigrants

The Obama administration on Friday proposed new hardship rules that would make it easier for illegal immigrants to apply for legal status and stay in the country if they have a spouse or parent already living here legally. Published January 6, 2012

Republican presidential candidate and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum pumps his fist Jan. 4, 2012, during a campaign stop in Manchester, N.H. (Associated Press)

Paul strong in N.H. poll; Romney still dominant

Fresh off his near-win in Iowa, Rick Santorum has lept to 11 percent support among likely New Hampshire GOP primary voters — but he still trails front-runner Mitt Romney and Ron Paul, according to the inaugural Washington Times/JZ Analytics Poll, taken Wednesday. Published January 5, 2012

A member of Rep. Michele Bachmann's team wipes tears from his eyes as the former Republican presidential hopeful hugs family and staff members after announcing in West Des Moines, Iowa, on Wednesday that she would end her campaign. She finished sixth in Tuesday's Iowa Republican caucuses. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)

Iowa takes toll: Bachmann out

Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota ended her presidential bid Wednesday, a day after voters in Iowa, the state in which she was born, left her in sixth place — last of all the major Republican candidates who competed there. Published January 4, 2012

Rep. Michele Bachmann waves goodbye to supporters as she boards her campaign bus on Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2012, in West Des Moines, Iowa, after announcing she will end her campaign for president. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)

Bachmann ends campaign after loss in Iowa

Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann ended her presidential bid Wednesday, a day after voters in Iowa, her birth state, left her in sixth place — last of all the major Republican candidates who competed here. Published January 4, 2012

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney greets supporters at his caucus night rally in Des Moines, Iowa, on Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2012. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

Romney's Iowa win falls short of 2008 showing

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney won Iowa's caucuses by the narrowest of margins, collecting fewer votes than he won here in 2008 — even as the caucuses themselves saw a slight uptick in voters compared with last time. Published January 4, 2012

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney holds an early morning rally at the Temple for Performing Arts on the day of the Iowa caucus, Des Moines, IA, Tuesday, January 3, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)

Iowans press candidates on same issues that concern Republicans across country

Iowa's caucuses may not always pick the eventual presidential nominee, but voters this year did something more helpful to the process: They asked the kinds of tough questions about the economy and spending that are on the minds of Republicans across the country who still have yet to vote. Published January 3, 2012

Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney greets residents Jan. 3, 2012, during a caucus day rally at the Temple for Performing Arts in Des Moines, Iowa. (Associated Press)

Romney vs. 'anyone but' in Iowa

Four years after a second-place finish in Iowa's caucuses mortally wounded his campaign, Mitt Romney is counting on the state to write a different story on Tuesday — a win here could go a long way toward sewing up the 2012 GOP presidential nomination. Published January 2, 2012

After a campaign stop at Paula's Maid Rite Restaurant in West Des Moines, Iowa, on Monday, Michele Bachmann greets Advanced Placement government and history students from Taylor High School of Cincinnati, Ohio. Mrs. Bachmann's husband, Marcus, is at right. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)

Bachmann defies poll forecasts

If Michele Bachmann's campaign is running on fumes, as the polls seem to suggest, you'd never know it from the crowd of supporters and journalists that filled four shops in West Des Moines Monday afternoon to catch a glimpse of her. Published January 2, 2012

Republican presidential candidate and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum speaks Jan. 2, 2012, during a campaign stop at the Rising Sun Cafe in Polk City, Iowa. (Associated Press)

Santorum vows end to blaming Obama once in White House

Former Sen. Rick Santorum said Monday that if he wins the presidency he will not blame President Obama but will take responsibility for the country from the first day — contrasting himself with the current president who he said demonizes his political opponents "by name." Published January 2, 2012

Heather Goode served then candidate Barack Obama a slice of pie and a cup of tea when he stopped at the Smokey Row Coffee House while campaigning in late 2007. Iowans have rubbed elbows with many candidates over the years. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)

Iowans await Obama's pledge to bring change

In the sandwich shops and restaurants of Iowa where Barack Obama built his 2008 victory, new questions have replaced those about his faith: Has the president fulfilled his campaign promises, has he produced the change he promised, and is the country better off? Published January 1, 2012

Supporters listen as Rep. Ron Paul of Texas speaks at a campaign event at the Hotel Pattee in Perry, Iowa, on Thursday. All of the Republicans are fielding questions about cutting spending and whether they are the candidate who can do it. (Associated Press)

Spending cuts are Iowa voters' No. 1 issue

Amid all the questions about election strategy, immigration and China, one issue keeps popping up nearly any time a Republican candidate meets with voters in Iowa — how can spending be cut, and are you the candidate to do it? Published December 29, 2011

STEADFAST: "We can't afford a president who's going to be just a little better than the president who's in there right now," Rick Santorum tells voters. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)

Santorum pulles no punches in Iowa

Fighting back against the charge that he's too conservative to be the Republican presidential nominee, former Sen. Rick Santorum said Thursday that he's just throwing the bombs others haven't been willing to throw. Published December 29, 2011

HAPPY CAMPER: GOP presidential candidate Ron Paul gets a kick out of hearing compliments for being punctual at a town hall Wednesday in Newton, Iowa. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)

Paul enjoying view from top of polls

As his government-shrinking, military-cutting, fiscal responsibility message is getting a second look by GOP voters, Ron Paul is suddenly the talk of Iowa. Published December 28, 2011

'OUR TIME': Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney delivers a speech Tuesday at a hotel in Davenport, Iowa. The former Massachusetts governor said the 2012 presidential election will be "an election to save the soul of America." (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)

Romney looks past Iowa to Obama

Saying President Obama is risking "the soul of America," Mitt Romney kicked off his stretch run to Tuesday's Iowa caucuses with his eyes squarely on the general election, even as the rest of the Republican presidential field took aim at one another. Published December 27, 2011

House Speaker John A. Boehner, Ohio Republican, speaks Dec. 22, 2011, about extending the payroll-tax cut during a briefing on Capitol Hill. (Associated Press)

Tax bill set for increasingly rare conference committee

Last week's tax fight in Congress was about many things — Social Security taxes, unemployment benefits and an oil pipeline — but House Republicans tried to make it into an even bigger fight over the institutional relevance of the House of Representatives itself. Published December 27, 2011

A Chinese clerk counts U.S. dollars in exchange for Chinese renminbi at a Hefei, China, bank. (Associated Press)

China spared penalty over value of currency

The Obama administration said Tuesday that China is making headway on its currency-valuation policies and should not be deemed a currency manipulator — fighting back against top Senate Democrats who had demanded President Obama sanction the U.S.'s top economic competitor. Published December 27, 2011

House Minority Whip Rep. Steny Hoyer, D-Md., is followed by reporters after holding a news conference on the payroll tax cut on Capitol Hill on Thursday, Dec. 22, 2011, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Congress approves short-term payroll tax, unemployment benefits

Congress closed out its legislative year on Friday the same way it began: with a divided House and Senate agreeing to a short-term extension, in this case renewing the payroll tax holiday for two more months, but leaving the bigger work for later. Published December 23, 2011