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Stephen Dinan

Stephen Dinan

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

Articles by Stephen Dinan

Budget-busting station named for Biden

As a thank-you to its most famous customer, Amtrak is renaming the train station in Wilmington, Del., after stimulus "sheriff" Vice President Joseph R. Biden — after the project received $20 million in stimulus money and came in $5.7 million over the initial announced budget. Published March 17, 2011

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, Virginia Republican (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

House votes to strip funding for NPR

The Republican-dominated House on Thursday voted to block taxpayer funding for National Public Radio programming, dealing another blow to the broadcasting network that already is reeling from a yearlong series of missteps. Published March 17, 2011

Congress passes second bill to avert shutdown

Congress on Thursday pushed a government shutdown back another three weeks then approved taking a vacation next week, leaving the hard work of striking a long-term deal for another day. Published March 17, 2011

GAO's report on waste suddenly a Hill must-read

Move over, Tom Clancy — the newest thriller to go viral, at least by federal government report standards, is the Government Accountability Office's just-published look at waste and duplication in federal agencies. Published March 15, 2011

Democrats key for passage of spending bill

Facing a rebellion among their conservative members, House Republicans had to turn to Democrats on Tuesday to pass a short-term spending bill that will delay a government shutdown by three weeks. Published March 15, 2011

Napolitano: Slain agent wasn't unarmed

Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was armed with a pistol and a rifle during the December gunbattle with border bandits that cost him his life, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said in a letter last week meant to counter lingering questions about the agent's death. Published March 11, 2011

Congress readies new stopgap spending bill

Looking to avert a March 18 government shutdown, Congressional leaders have written another short-term spending bill that moves that deadline back three weeks while cutting additional billions of dollars from last year's spending. Published March 11, 2011

Utah Legislature goes for gold, silver as currency options

The Utah Legislature on Thursday passed a bill allowing gold and silver coins to be used as legal tender in the state — and for the value of their precious metal, not just the face value of the coins. Published March 10, 2011

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