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Stephen Dinan

Stephen Dinan

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

Articles by Stephen Dinan

**FILE** In a Aug. 24, 2005, file photo, Reconstructive surgeon Dr. Maria Siemionow adjusts her sterile bonnet as she heads into a micro-surgical procedure at the Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, Ohio. The Cleveland Clinic has done the nation's first almost total face transplant, a hospital spokeswoman said Tuesday, Dec.16, 2008. Dr. Maria Siemionow replaced 80 percent of a woman's face with that of a dead female donor. The hospital spokeswoman said that the operation was done a couple weeks ago.

Immigration bill boosts costs of 'Obamacare'

The Senate immigration bill will be good for the U.S. economy as a whole, but for individual workers the picture is not as good — in fact, unemployment will rise slightly and average wages will drop over the next decade, according to the Congressional Budget Office's analysis Monday. Published June 19, 2013

People shout out against the Strengthen and Fortify Enforcement Act in the hall outside the House Judiciary Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington on June 18, 2013. The committee in the Republican-led House is preparing to cast its first votes on immigration this year, on a tough enforcement-focused measure that Democrats and immigrant groups are protesting loudly. (Associated Press)

CBO: Immigration bill only stops 25 percent of illegal immigration

The Senate immigration bill will be a major boost to the federal budget but does relatively little to clamp down on illegal immigration — cutting the future flow by only about 25 percent — according to the Congressional Budget Office analysis of the bill, released Tuesday afternoon. Published June 18, 2013

**FILE** The sun casts a shadow on the border fence that passes through the Nature Conservancy's southernmost preserve in Brownsville, Texas, on Sept. 4, 2012. (Associated Press)

Senate rejects border fence

Senators on Tuesday rejected building the 700 miles of double-tier border fencing Congress authorized just seven years ago, with a majority of the Senate saying they didn't want to delay granting illegal immigrants legal status while the fence was being built. Published June 18, 2013

** FILE ** A road lined with vehicle barriers marking the U.S-Mexico border in New Mexico is the spartan territory for Border Patrol agents. (Associated Press)

Senate set to vote on border fence amendment in immigration bill

A week into the immigration debate, the Senate has finally set up showdowns Tuesday afternoon on some of the biggest questions, including whether to build the full 700-mile fence Congress approved seven years ago, but never followed through on. Published June 18, 2013

Fat chance: At 24 pounds, immigration bill is too big for many to swallow

At 1,075 pages long, it's not the biggest bill to come through in recent years — that honor still belongs to the health care law — but the immigration legislation pending in the Senate is challenging the ability of voters to get their brains around its complexity. Published June 16, 2013

"There are still restrictions, but there is greater flexibility" on the issue of transferring detainees held at Guantanamo Bay, said Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Sen. Carl Levin. (Associated Press)

Senate panel gives Obama flexibility on transferring detainees

The Senate Armed Services Committee voted Thursday to give President Obama more flexibility to transfer detainees from Guantanamo Bay into the U.S. or to other countries, moving to grant some of the powers the administration is seeking. Published June 13, 2013

** FILE ** Syrian President Bashar Assad speaks during an interview on Wednesday, April 17, 2013. (Associated Press/Syrian State TV via AP video)

Obama says Syria has crossed 'red line' with chemical weapons, will send weapons

The Syrian government used chemical weapons against rebel forces trying to overthrow the regime, the Obama administration said Thursday, acknowledging that President Bashar Assad has without doubt crossed the "red line" President Obama laid down for U.S. action in the country's bloody civil war. Published June 13, 2013

**FILE** President Obama speaks in the Rose Garden at the White House in Washington on April 10, 2013. (Associated Press)

Obama's vow to cut federal websites in half is still a distant goal

It already has taken twice as long as President Obama ordered, and yet his administration is still only about halfway to meeting his June 2011 vow to cut the number of federal websites in half within a year — one of the marquee pledges in his Campaign to Cut Waste. Published June 12, 2013

Immigration debate bogs down over how to vote on amendments

The immigration debate is getting off to a bad start with Republicans and Democrats already sparring over how to even vote on amendments — with Democrats insisting every vote achieve a 60-vote filibuster-style threshold in order to pass. Published June 12, 2013

**FILE** Sen. Patrick J. Leahy, Vermont Democrat, chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee. (Associated Press)

Gay-rights amendment could complicate immigration debate

Sen. Patrick J. Leahy introduced an amendment to the immigration bill Tuesday that would extend immigration benefits to gay partners of American citizens, potentially injecting that contentious issue into the middle of the immigration debate. Published June 11, 2013

The Senate's bipartisan "Gang of Eight" holds a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington on Thursday, April 18, 2013. In front from left to right are Sen. Marco Rubio, Florida Republican; Sen. Charles E. Schumer, New York Democrat; Sen. Lindsey Graham, South Carolina Republican; and Sen. John McCain, Arizona Republican. The legislation would dramatically remake the U.S. immigration system by ushering in new visa programs for low- and high-skilled workers, requiring a tough new focus on border security, instituting a new requirement for all employers to check the legal status of their workers, and installing a path to citizenship for 11 million immigrants in the country illegally. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Poison pills enter bruising Senate battle over immigration reform

Senators headed off a filibuster Tuesday and officially brought the immigration reform bill to the chamber floor, marking the first time since 2007 that the full, thorny issue has been back in front of Congress — and with lawmakers anticipating plenty of hurdles ahead. Published June 11, 2013

**FILE** Police in Chandler, Ariz., respond to a report of copper theft from a shopping plaza roof on Jan. 18, 2012. (Associated Press)

Senate moving to make copper theft a federal crime

The Senate is moving to make metal theft a federal crime, with the Judiciary Committee poised to take action later this week on a bill that would impose a 10-year prison sentence on anyone caught stealing metal from telephone or cell towers, highway equipment or other critical infrastructure. Published June 11, 2013

** FILE ** Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Kentucky Republican, speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington on Tuesday, May 21, 2013, following a Republican policy luncheon. (Associated Press)

McConnell: Immigration bill has 'serious flaws'

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said Tuesday that the immigration bill making its way to the chamber floor later in the day has "serious flaws" that must be fixed before the legislation can pass. Published June 11, 2013

**FILE** Sen. Chuck Grassley, Iowa Republican, speaks during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on immigrant women and immigration reform on Capitol Hill in Washington on March 18, 2013. (Associated Press)

Lessons of 1986 amnesty loom in immigration debate

As Congress takes up immigration reform, the last major amnesty in 1986 hangs heavily over the debate — a lesson for both sides in the perils of failing on border and employment security, even as they move for another round of legalization. Published June 10, 2013

U.S. Border Patrol agents patrol the border fence in Naco, Ariz., on Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2012, near where Agent Nicholas Ivie was shot and killed and one other was shot and injured. (Associated Press)

Border Patrol union quiet on immigration bill debate

They bill themselves as "the real border security experts," but the National Border Patrol Council — the union representing U.S. Border Patrol agents — has been uniquely silent as Congress prepares to debate immigration. Published June 10, 2013