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Stephen Dinan

Stephen Dinan

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

Articles by Stephen Dinan

**FILE** House Speaker John Boehner, Ohio Republican, takes questions May 10, 2012, during a news conference on Capitol Hill. (Associated Press)

Boehner sets up new debt-ceiling showdown

House Speaker John A. Boehner vowed Tuesday to draw "a line in the sand" by insisting the next federal debt-limit increase, due later this year, will have to be met with real spending cuts — setting up another showdown like last August's deficit brinkmanship. Published May 15, 2012

Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., who is president of the Senate, and three top officers of the chamber have been named in a lawsuit trying to overturn the Senate's filibuster rule. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

Dream Act students sue to stop Senate filibuster

Illegal immigrant students and members of the House sued the Senate this week to try to overturn the upper chamber's filibuster rule, arguing that the 60-vote supermajority requirement violates the Constitution and is blocking important legislation such as legalization for illegal immigrants. Published May 15, 2012

Rep. Ron Paul, Texas Republican, speaks at the University of California at Berkeley on Thursday, April 5, 2012. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

Paul aide: Don't look for a Romney endorsement

Ron Paul's campaign conceded Tuesday he won't win enough delegates to be Republicans' presidential nominee, but says he will continue to try to win supporters to influence the GOP's platform and rules at the August convention. Published May 15, 2012

Gary Johnson

Current third-party candidates not on voters' menu

There's a substantial appetite among American voters for an option other than the two major parties in this year's elections — but there's little taste for any of the third-party or independent candidates currently competing, according to the latest poll by The Washington Times/JZ Analytics. Published May 14, 2012

**FILE** Republican presidential candidate and Texas Rep. Ron Paul speaks Feb. 11, 2012, to his supporters following his loss in the Maine caucus to Mitt Romney, in Portland, Maine. (Associated Press)

Ron Paul ends his hunt for votes from primaries

Rep. Ron Paul said Monday he will not compete in Republican primaries in any of the states that have not yet voted — essentially ending the 2012 primary season and leaving the path open for Mitt Romney to win the GOP presidential nomination. Published May 14, 2012

President Obama is in a close race with his presumed Republican rival, according to the findings of a weekend Washington Times/JZ Analytics poll and other national polls. But there's more enthusiasm for Mr. Obama. (Associated Press)

Poll shows Obama's chief edge is enthusiasm factor

Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney and President Obama are statistically tied with 43.6 percent and 43.2 percent support, respectively, among likely voters surveyed in the first head-to-head matchup conducted for The Washington Times/JZ Analytics poll, which nonetheless found more enthusiasm for the president's campaign than for the GOP's challenger. Published May 13, 2012

Rep. Daniel Webster, Florida Republican. (Associated Press) ** FILE **

House bill reins in Census Bureau, Justice

House Republicans voted this week to kill a major part of the census and to rein in the Obama administration's lawsuits against states over immigration laws, voter-identification laws and gay-marriage statutes - but gave a thumbs-up to Mr. Obama's battle with states that have medical marijuana laws. Published May 10, 2012

"My question for President Obama is, 'Where is your plan to stop these automatic cuts from hollowing out our defenses?' " - House Speaker John A. Boehner

House shifts pending budget cuts from defense to entitlements

Six months after the congressional supercommittee failed to come to a long-term deal on federal spending, House Republicans reignited the debate Thursday by passing legislation that would stop looming defense cuts and instead cut hundreds of billions of dollars from entitlement programs. Published May 10, 2012

First responders transport a wounded soldier an ambulance at Fort Hood, Texas, on Nov. 5, 2009. Lawmakers have introduced legislation that would allow domestic attacks on service members to be reviewed the same way as international terrorist attacks when it comes to awarding the Purple Heart. (Associated Press)

Lawmakers: Victims of domestic terrorism deserve Purple Heart

Top lawmakers on Capitol Hill are challenging the U.S. military to rethink how it classifies terrorist attacks on U.S. soil after the Defense Department decided the 2009 attack at Fort Hood and the attack on a recruiting office in Arkansas were domestic killings rather than flash points in the global war on terrorism. Published May 9, 2012

President Obama nominated Kristine L. Svinicki to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission despite opposition from Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. (NRC via Associated Press)

NRC selection sets up battle with Senate

President Obama on Tuesday officially nominated Kristine Svinicki to keep her seat on the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, setting up an expected battle with his own party in the Senate. Published May 8, 2012

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Kentucky Republican (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Senate blocks Obama's student loan bill

Senators blocked President Obama's student loan bailout bill Tuesday, upping the chances of another deadline-busting battle this summer as both sides dig in over how to pay for continued government assistance to college students. Published May 8, 2012

**FILE** Congressional Budget Office Director Douglas Elmendorf (Associated Press)

Deficit streak ends: Obama sees first monthly surplus

The federal government broke its record deficit streak in April, notching its first monthly surplus since the end of the Bush administration, according to preliminary estimates released Monday. Published May 7, 2012

"This is a major action-forcing event. I'm not saying there will be a grand bargain during the lame-duck session but I would certainly hope that we reach some way to sort-of structure [or] at the very least create a process in which a credible balanced deficit reduction plan can be reached." - Rep. Chris Van Hollen of Maryland, top Democrat on the House Budget Committee. (Associated Press)

Budget Control Act not living up to its name

Eight months after President Obama ratified the last-minute Budget Control Act to avert a federal default, the budget deficit has only grown and the control is hard to see. Published May 6, 2012

**FILE** Demonstrators outside the White House march in November with a replica of a pipeline during a protest of the planned Keystone XL pipeline that would bring tar sands oil from Canada to Texas. (Associated Press)

Obama to get do-over on Keystone pipeline

The Canadian company seeking to build the massive Canada-to-Texas Keystone XL pipeline through the U.S. reapplied for a permit on Friday, pushing the politically sensitive issue back onto President Obama's plate six months before the election. Published May 4, 2012

Sen. Tom Coburn, Oklahoma Republican and a top taxpayer watchdog, said putting the Internet off-limits means giving up a valuable anti-fraud weapon - one that he said even federal courts have used in reviewing some disability cases. (Associated Press)

Web put off-limits to Social Security claims judges

The Social Security Administration last month told its disability-claims judges they are no longer to seek out information from websites when deciding cases — taking away a tool some of those judges say would help in uncovering fraud. Published May 3, 2012

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney talks to supporters at Exhibit Edge in Chantilly, Va., on Wednesday, May 2, 2012. (Barbara L. Salisbury/The Washington Times)

Romney blasts Obama for opposing D.C. voucher program

Mitt Romney said Wednesday that it was "inexcusable" for President Obama to try to shut down the District's federally backed voucher pilot program that has sent thousands of the city's students to private schools. Published May 2, 2012

Sen. John F. Kerry, Massachusetts Democrat, is at the fore of his party's donation campaign.

Campaign donors squeezed at end of month

It was the end of the month and the wheedling, pleading, demanding and outright begging were at full throttle as political parties, racing the latest fundraising deadline, tried to shake every nickel out of potential donors' pockets. Published April 30, 2012

** FILE ** In this April 26, 2012, file photo, House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio speaks during his weekly news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington. Republicans ignored a veto threat and overcame a rebellion by party conservatives to push a bill through the House Friday keeping interest rates on millions of federal student loans from doubling this summer. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File)

House defies Obama to pass student loan bill

Defying a veto threat from President Obama, the House voted Friday to extend federal student loan subsidies for another year, and cover the added cost by slashing a prevention fund from Democrats' health bill. Published April 27, 2012

Barry Knight of Farmingham, Mass., and a woman who did not want to give her name exchange heated words during the rally in front of the Supreme Court. (Rod Lamkey Jr./The Washington Times)

Justices suggest Arizona is helping on immigration

The Supreme Court took a dim view of the Obama administration's effort to halt Arizona's immigration-crackdown law, with the justices signaling an inclination during oral arguments Wednesday to approve requiring police to check the status of those suspected of being in the U.S. illegally. Published April 25, 2012