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Stephen Dinan

Stephen Dinan

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

Articles by Stephen Dinan

In key test, GOP plan bests Democrats'

Republicans' plan to make $57 billion in deep spending cuts won more support than Democrats' $4.7 billion shallow cuts proposal in competing Senate votes Wednesday, though neither gained anywhere near enough support to pass. Published March 9, 2011

Napolitano: Agents can use lethal force

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano told a congressional panel Wednesday that U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry and his fellow agents were not under orders to refrain from using lethal force in a December gunbattle near the Mexican border that resulted in Mr. Terry's death. Published March 9, 2011

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Nevada Democrat, speaks to reporters after his party's weekly policy luncheon on Capitol Hill on Tuesday. (Associated Press)

Senate set to kill parties' competing spending-cut bills

House Republicans said Tuesday they will likely have to write another short-term spending bill to avert a government shutdown on March 18, as a deal over funding the final seven months of the fiscal year remained elusive. Published March 8, 2011

U.S. sets $223B deficit record

The federal government posted its largest monthly deficit in history in February, a $223 billion shortfall that put a sharp point on the current fight on Capitol Hill about how deeply to cut this year's spending. Published March 7, 2011

$6 billion budget cut: A 'limit' for Democrats, a nick for Republicans

A top Senate Democrat said Sunday that the $6 billion in additional spending cuts that his party offered is the limit Democrats can accept — drawing a line well short of Republicans' goal with less than two weeks to go before a government shutdown if the two sides can't agree. Published March 6, 2011

Harry Reid

Senate Democrats offer $6 billion in spending cuts

Senate Democrats introduced a bill Friday calling for an additional $6 billion in spending cuts this year, putting meat to the bones of President Obama's opening offer this week to come to the table and negotiate with House Republicans. Published March 4, 2011

White House antes up $6 billion in cuts

The White House offered its ante in the great spending-cuts debate, saying Thursday it's willing to cut at least another $6 billion in spending this year — which stacks up against House Republicans' $57 billion in cuts. Published March 3, 2011

With government shutdown averted, parties debate next move

With a government shutdown averted, at least for the time being, President Obama on Wednesday invited congressional leaders to sit down and hash out the rest of this year's spending bills — but Republicans said they have done their work and want to see Democrats put their own proposal on the table first. Published March 2, 2011

House's 2-week stopgap bill cuts $4 billion

Congress cleared the path Tuesday to avert an end-of-the-week government shutdown as Democrats and Republicans rallied around the GOP's two-week funding bill that cuts $4 billion from 2010 spending levels. Published March 1, 2011

"Honestly, I think this two-week business is not the way to go. I think there should be a longer-term agreement, hopefully through the end of the year," said Sen. Kent Conrad, North Dakota Democrat. (Associated Press)

Short-term spending measure likely to be passed

Congress is nearing passage of a short-term spending bill to keep the government from shutting down at the end of this week, but the deal does little to resolve the long-term fight over spending for the rest of 2011 and beyond. Published February 28, 2011

Missouri state Rep. Eric Burlison says his compact proposal isn't health care reform, but rather "governance reform."

State compacts on health care eyed as end run around Obama

With efforts to repeal the health care law stalling on Capitol Hill, Republican lawmakers in states across the country are turning to another tool in the Constitution to try to limit the law's reach — interstate compacts. Published February 27, 2011

Government shutdown solution appears near

Congress appeared to be closing in Friday on a short-term spending bill to prevent a government shutdown next week, with House Republicans proposing a two-week extension that would cut $4 billion from last year's spending levels. Published February 25, 2011

Despite looming shutdown, Capitol Hill is a ghost town

With the clock ticking to a March 4 government shutdown, you might imagine the Capitol would be buzzing, with lawmakers seeking to cut deals, make impassioned speeches and do everything they could to strike a deal on spending. You'd be wrong. Published February 24, 2011

Shutdown skedaddle: Congress deserted as deadline looms

With the clock ticking to a March 4 government shutdown, you might imagine the Capitol would be buzzing with lawmakers seeking to cut deals, make impassioned speeches and do everything they could to strike a deal on spending. You'd be wrong. Published February 24, 2011

CBO raises its stimulus cost estimate, again

Congress' chief scorekeeper has again raised the cost estimate of President Obama's two-year-old economic-stimulus program, calculating it will end up costing taxpayers $821 billion — or $34 billion more than originally projected. Published February 23, 2011

Congressional Budget Office Director Douglas W. Elmendorf (Associated Press)

CBO raises its stimulus cost estimate, again

Congress' chief scorekeeper has again raised the cost estimate of President Obama's two-year-old economic-stimulus program, calculating it will end up costing taxpayers $821 billion — or $34 billion more than originally projected. Published February 23, 2011

Democrats say GOP cuts jeopardize border security

After watching Republicans use immigration to attack their priorities for the past two years, Democrats are turning the table, saying congressional Republicans' spending-cuts bill would slice money from border fencing and could scuttle much of President Obama's Border Patrol surge. Published February 22, 2011

Democrats counter with cuts of their own

Just hours after House Republicans passed their bill late last week to cut $61 billion from 2010 spending, or what amounts to $100 billion below President Obama's original proposal, Senate Democrats countered with their ante — $41 billion short of Mr. Obama's budget, or essentially a straight spending freeze at the current fiscal year's levels. Published February 21, 2011

In House debate, pet projects euthanized

After more than 100 votes in four days, the lesson from last week's spending debate in the House is that nobody's pet projects are safe anymore. Published February 20, 2011