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Stephen Dinan

Stephen Dinan

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Articles by Stephen Dinan

** FILE ** Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington on Tuesday, March 1, 2011, before the House Financial Services Committee. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

Federal government hits $14T debt limit

The federal government officially bumped up against its borrowing limit Monday, an unhappy milestone that signals the beginning of a two-month sprint during which Congress and the White House will try to agree on whether to raise the debt ceiling while imposing spending restraints. Published May 16, 2011

Social Security deficits now 'permanent'

Social Security will run a permanent yearly deficit when looking at the program's tax revenues compared to what it must pay out in benefits, the program's trustees said Friday in a report that found both the outlook for Social Security and Medicare, the two major federal social safety-net programs, have worsened over the last year. Published May 13, 2011

Senators scold oil executives on Hill

With gas prices once again flirting with $4 a gallon nationally, Democratic senators called CEOs from the country's five major oil companies to Congress on Thursday for what has become a regular scolding over their high profits, and said the time has come to end tax breaks the industry enjoys. Published May 12, 2011

Obama says border is secure enough to begin legalization

Facing a political gridlock that has doomed immigration legislation for years, President Obama, making his first visit to the border since taking office, turned to activists and immigrant-rights supporters across the country Tuesday and said it's now up to them to force Congress to act. Published May 10, 2011

President Obama boards Air Force One at Andrews Air Force Base in Washington's Maryland suburbs on Tuesday, May 10, 2011, as he travels to the U.S.-Mexico border at El Paso, Texas, to speak about immigration reform. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

Obama to keep National Guard on border

President Obama will keep the National Guard on the U.S.-Mexico border past their current June deadline, agreeing to the demand by a number of border lawmakers who say having the military there deters illegal activity. Published May 10, 2011

Democrats hit Obama with gap on illegals

President Obama is pledging border security and pleading for help from Republicans as he steps up his campaign to pass an immigration reform bill, but new polling suggests the rift within his own party is actually deeper than within the GOP on the issue. Published May 9, 2011

**FILE** House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio gestures May 5 during his weekly news briefing on Capitol Hill. (Associated Press)

Boehner: Spending cuts must outweigh debt increase

Drawing a line on how far Republicans are willing to go in raising the nation's debt limit, House Speaker John A. Boehner said Monday that any increase must be accompanied by an even bigger cut in spending. Published May 9, 2011

Arizona takes immigration law to Supreme Court

Gov. Jan Brewer has asked the Supreme Court to overturn lower courts and reinstate Arizona's tough immigration law, saying the federal government continues to neglect the U.S.-Mexico border and states have to fill the gap. Published May 9, 2011

President Obama addresses military personnel who recently returned from Afghanistan on Friday, May 6, 2011, at Fort Campbell, Ky. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

Obama: Bin Laden raid is evidence Afghan strategy is working

President Obama capped off a week that began with him announcing the death of Osama bin Laden with a trip Friday to Fort Campbell in Kentucky to thank the Navy SEALs whose daring nighttime raid on a compound in Pakistan Sunday ended the decade-long hunt for the world's top terrorist. Published May 6, 2011

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

Higher taxes keep federal deficit in check

The federal government notched its 31st straight month in the red in April, though individual income tax receipts are "significantly" higher than expected and made the deficit smaller than it otherwise would have been, the Congressional Budget Office said Friday. Published May 6, 2011

Associated Press
House Speaker John A. Boehner said Thursday, "The sooner we begin to create more American energy, the sooner we'll be able to lower the prices."

House calls on Obama to issue drilling permits

With gas prices topping $4 a gallon, the House passed a bill Thursday that would order the Obama administration to issue offshore-drilling permits for leases it delayed or canceled in the wake of last year's Deep Horizon rig explosion in the Gulf of Mexico. Published May 5, 2011

DHS wants new yardstick for improvements

Saying the measure of "operational control" of U.S. borders is obsolete, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano told Congress on Wednesday that the Obama administration is trying to come up with a new yardstick to better reflect the improvements it says it has made. Published May 4, 2011

Holder eyes Utah guest-worker law

A year after suing Arizona over its tough immigration law, Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. told Congress on Tuesday that his department is prepared to sue Utah for going the other way and creating its own guest-worker program - though he is giving the state some time to change its law. Published May 3, 2011

Obama gets praise for bold action

When news of Osama bin Laden's killing broke late Sunday, thousands of people thronged Pennsylvania Avenue to celebrate near the White House, while just 16 blocks away the streets near the Capitol were deserted — a stark reminder of how the responsibility for the daring assassination raid rested squarely on one man's shoulders. Published May 2, 2011

**FILE** Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer (Associated Press)

Brewer leads charge against feds

Before there was Scott Walker, Rick Scott, Nathan Deal or Nikki Haley, there was Arizona's Jan Brewer — the original Republican protest governor, going toe-to-toe with the Obama administration over immigration, fighting the White House in the courtroom and becoming an early symbol of states' frustration with the White House. Published May 1, 2011

Feds sting Amish farmer selling raw milk locally

A yearlong sting operation, including aliases, a 5 a.m. surprise inspection and surreptitious purchases from an Amish farm in Pennsylvania, culminated in the federal government announcing this week that it has gone to court to stop Rainbow Acres Farm from selling its contraband to willing customers in the Washington area. Published April 28, 2011

Ann Kirkpatrick campaigned successfully for Congress in 2008, but lost in the Republican tide last year. She plans to seek a rematch to take back the seat from Rep. Paul A. Gosar.

Spurned Democrats ready for second try

The House GOP's agenda has tilted so far right that it's creating opportunities for Democrats to try to reclaim seats they lost just a few months ago, said Ann Kirkpatrick, the first former member of Congress to announce that she would seek a rematch in 2012. Published April 26, 2011

Chairman speaks for Trump in 'birther' flap

New Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus said Tuesday that the GOP's potential presidential candidates such as Donald Trump have a right to make claims about President Obama's birth certificate, and he is not going to play referee as the party struggles to settle on a 2012 nominee. Published April 26, 2011

A year later, Ariz. immigration fight rages

It spawned myriad court challenges, calls to boycott this year's Major League Baseball All-Star Game and more than a dozen copycat proposals in other states — but the one thing Arizona's tough immigration law has not done is put anyone behind bars. Published April 21, 2011