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Stephen Dinan

Stephen Dinan

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

Articles by Stephen Dinan

**FILE** A farm worker prepares a tomato field for planting at K&D Farmers near Oneonta, Ala., on May 10, 2012. (Associated Press)

Govt. pays millions in benefits to dead farmers

The federal government is still paying out millions of dollars a year in subsidies to dead farmers, according to a new government audit released Monday that said the Agriculture Department doesn't do routine checks required to make sure it is paying benefits to the right people. Published July 29, 2013

A protester for immigration reform holds a sign during a rally at the Georgia Capitol in Atlanta on April 10, 2013. (Associated Press) **FILE**

White House: Illegal immigrants key to rural economy

The White House warned Monday that U.S. farmers could experience a shortage of workers if the administration were to begin enforcing immigration laws, and President Obama made another push to rejuvenate the faltering prospects for passing an immigration bill this year. Published July 29, 2013

President Obama speaks on the 60th anniversary of the end of the Korean War, during remarks at a commemorative ceremony near the Korean War Veterans Memorial on the National Mall in Washington, on Saturday, July 27, 2013. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

Obama says Korean War has lessons for post-Afghanistan conflict

Commemorating the 60th anniversary of the armistice on Saturday that ended the Korean War, President Obama referred to the conflict as "the forgotten victory" and said it has lessons as he tries to end the war in Afghanistan. Published July 27, 2013

Support of voter ID law affirmed

Democrats and Republicans vowed this week to work together in rewriting the Voting Rights Act after last month's Supreme Court decision punctured the iconic civil rights law, but some lawmakers warned they will seek to protect voter ID laws as part of any eventual deal. Published July 18, 2013

** FILE ** Rep. Darrell E. Issa, chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. (Associated Press)

Rep. Issa calls out Justice inaction on tax snooping, sees dangers in health care law

House oversight committee Chairman Darrell E. Issa said Thursday he's baffled that the Justice Department declined to prosecute a government employee who apparently knowingly pried into tax records of a political candidate or donor, and said there should be a way for victims to know their rights have been violated. Published July 18, 2013

Gina McCarthy stands on stage in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Monday, March 4, 2013, as President Barack Obama announced he would nominate McCarthy to head the EPA. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Obama wins nominee battle with Senate GOP

The Senate confirmed President Obama’s nominees to head the Labor Department and the Environmental Protection Agency on Thursday, clearing the decks of the controversial nominees that had threatened to push the Senate into a parliamentary meltdown just two days ago. Published July 18, 2013

Obama loses 3rd ruling on recess moves

A third federal appeals court ruled Wednesday that President Obama violated the Constitution last year when he made recess appointments to the National Labor Relations Board, adding more weight to the case as it goes before the Supreme Court in the justices' next session. Published July 17, 2013

** FILE ** President Obama wipes away sweat during a speech at Georgetown University on June 25, 2013. (Associated Press)

Third court overturns Obama recess appointments

A third federal appeals court ruled Wednesday that President Obama violated the Constitution last year when he made recess appointments to the National Labor Relations Board, adding more weight to the case as it goes before the Supreme Court in the justices' next session. Published July 17, 2013

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, flanked by Sen. Jeff Merkley (right) and Sen. Tom Udall, hails a Democratic victory after averting a political meltdown, clearing the way for confirmation of presidential nominees. (Associated Press)

Senate Democrats win votes on four nominees in 'nuclear option' showdown

Bowing to an ultimatum, Senate Republicans agreed Tuesday to drop objections to key Obama administration nominees, delivering a victory to Senate Democrats who said they will shelve — for now — their own plans to change the rules and curtail filibusters. Published July 16, 2013

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada (left) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky are sparring on the eve of a session to change Senate rules to remove a 60-vote threshold for President Obama's nominations to win confirmation. Mr. Reid says the changes are minimal; Mr. McConnell says Mr. Reid would be "breaking the rules  in order to change the rules." (Associated Press)

Senate 'nuclear option' on filibusters defused — for now

The "nuclear option" has been defused — for now — after Republican senators said Tuesday they would drop their blockade of Richard Cordray to be the new head of a consumer protection bureau, ending for now what had appeared to be a major crisis over the filibuster and minority rights in the Senate. Published July 16, 2013

** FILE ** Nevada Sen. Harry Reid speaks during a news conference at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas Tuesday, July 2, 2013. (AP Photo/Las Vegas Review-Journal, John Locher)

Senators fail in final attempt to avoid 'nuclear option' on filibuster rules

Last-minute negotiations failed to break through the Senate's impasse on nominees, leaving Democrats prepared to ignite the "nuclear option" Tuesday and use a shortcut to change the chamber's filibuster rules, allowing them to push easily through President Obama's appointments. Published July 15, 2013

Filibuster fights play both ways and nominees from both parties know it

C. Boyden Gray has seen the filibuster fight from both sides, serving as chief cheerleader for President George W. Bush's judicial nominations when they were being blocked by Democrats, and then watching Democrats block his own nomination when Mr. Bush tapped him to be an ambassador. Published July 15, 2013

** FILE ** Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Nevada Democrat, speaks with reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington on Tuesday, July 9, 2013, following a Democratic strategy session. (Associated Press)

Sen. Harry Reid: Founding Fathers didn't want filibusters

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Monday that the men who wrote the Constitution intended for the president's nominees to be subject to only a majority vote, and said filibusters of nominees were never envisioned. Published July 15, 2013

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada (left) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky are sparring on the eve of a session to change Senate rules to remove a 60-vote threshold for President Obama's nominations to win confirmation. Mr. Reid says the changes are minimal; Mr. McConnell says Mr. Reid would be "breaking the rules  in order to change the rules." (Associated Press)

Reid prepares to light fuse of 'nuclear option' in Senate

Declaring that the country faces a presidential nominations crisis, the Senate's top Democrat vowed Sunday to press ahead with showdown votes this week that could end up rewriting Senate rules to power through President Obama's team, but also threatens to end the comity that is essential to the chamber's operations. Published July 14, 2013

**FILE** Homeland Security Secretary Janet A. Napolitano (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)

Napolitano's move from DHS to California schools chief draws protests

While many across the political spectrum are happy to see Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano leave her job in Washington, some who live on the West Coast say they'd just as soon not see her out there, after it was revealed Friday that she's poised to take over as head of the University of California school system. Published July 12, 2013

**FILE** Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano briefs reporters at the White House on Feb. 25, 2013. (Associated Press)

Janet Napolitano to resign Homeland Security post

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, who has led the embattled agency for the entirety of President Obama's administration, said Friday she is resigning to run the University of California system. Published July 12, 2013

**FILE** Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Nevada Democrat, updates reporters on the pace of the immigration reform bill following a Democratic strategy session at the Capitol in Washington on June 25, 2013. (Associated Press)

Reid blocks own immigration bill from House vote

Democratic leaders have told the House to pass the Senate immigration bill as is, but they can't — because Majority Leader Harry Reid hasn't actually sent the bill over to the House yet. Published July 11, 2013