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Stephen Dinan

Stephen Dinan

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

Articles by Stephen Dinan

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

** 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)

Harry Reid prepares Senate to go 'nuclear,' end nomination filibusters

Senate Democrats laid the groundwork Thursday to trigger the "nuclear option" against minority filibusters, setting up a dramatic Tuesday showdown in which Republicans either will have to accept seven of President Obama's controversial appointments or watch as Democrats change the rules and end filibusters of executive branch nominees. Published July 11, 2013

** FILE ** House Speaker John A. Boehner, Ohio Republican (Associated Press)

Immigration reform unlikely this year with House GOP approach

House Republican leaders struck out on their own path on immigration Wednesday, saying they don't trust President Obama to secure the borders and rejecting the broad approach the Senate took in favor of tackling the issue in pieces — a move that severely dims chances for a final deal this year. Published July 10, 2013

**FILE** House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi addresses an audience in Boston during an event held to mark the 20th anniversary of the Family and Medical Leave Act on March 25, 2013. (Associated Press)

Pelosi calls for 'bipartisan' immigration solution

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi on Wednesday prodded House Republicans to take up an immigration bill -- though she stopped short of calling for the chamber to pass the version that cleared the Senate last month. Published July 10, 2013

Former President George W. Bush gives opening remarks on Dec. 4, 2012, at the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas for a conference titled "Immigration and 4% Growth: How Immigrants Grow the U.S. Economy." The George W. Bush Institute was hosting panel discussions highlighting the positive impact of immigration on U.S. economic growth. (Associated Press)

George W. Bush warns against bitter immigration debate

Former President George W. Bush warned Washington politicians Wednesday not to engage in a bitter immigration debate, hours before his former party colleagues in the House were set to meet to hash out a strategy to deal with the thorny issue. Published July 10, 2013

Democrats defy Obama and Republicans as student loan rates double

Standing on the Capitol steps Monday with students who said they may not be able to finish college without help from federal student loans, House Republicans on Monday called for President Obama to pressure members of his own party to accept a bipartisan solution to keep rates from doubling. Published July 8, 2013