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Stephen Dinan

Stephen Dinan

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Articles by Stephen Dinan

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

House GOP pushes through historic spending cuts

Flexing their new large majority in the House, Republicans early Saturday morning pushed through a bill that cuts more than $61 billion from last year's spending levels, setting up a showdown with Senate Democrats, who have vowed to block it, and President Obama, who has said he'll veto it. Published February 19, 2011

Lawmakers hit limit for size of spending cuts

Drawing a line on how deeply they are willing to cut, a coalition of congressional Democrats and Republicans on Friday shot down an effort to slice another $22 billion from this year's federal spending levels. Published February 18, 2011

Boehner, on spending, gives own 'Read my lips' pledge

Making a "read-my-lips" promise, Speaker John A. Boehner said Thursday that House Republicans will produce a budget this year that reins in entitlements and cuts spending, upping the ante on President Obama, who declined to tackle those long-term fiscal problems in the budget he sent to Congress on Monday. Published February 17, 2011

House breaks old taboos in cutting spree

In the first freewheeling spending debate the House has held in years, Democrats and Republicans teamed up to take on entrenched defense interests and to rewrite a GOP 2011 spending bill to cut about $800 million from NASA and from homeland security research and development, and send the savings to fund local police and firefighters. Published February 16, 2011

Defense Secretary Robert Gates, right, talks with Joint Chiefs Chairman Adm. Michael Mullen on Capitol Hill in Washington on Wednesday, Feb. 16, 2011, as they testified before the House Armed Services Committee. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

House breaks old taboos in cutting spree; Murtha's project taken off dole

In the first freewheeling spending debate the House has held in years, Democrats and Republicans teamed up to take on entrenched defense interests and to rewrite a GOP 2011 spending bill to cut about $800 million from NASA and from homeland security research and development, and send the savings to fund local police and firefighters. Published February 16, 2011

GOP bill zeroes out programs, puts curbs on Obama initiatives

The $60 billion in spending cuts House Republicans sent to their chamber floor Tuesday are more than just budget trims — they mark the beginning of the party's effort to tweak the way the Obama administration has operated during its first two years. Published February 15, 2011

Federal deficit on track for a record this fiscal year

President Obama's budget, released Monday, was conceived as a blueprint for future spending, but it also paints the bleakest picture yet of the current fiscal year, which is on track for a record federal deficit and will see the government's overall debt surpass the size of the total U.S. economy. Published February 14, 2011

President Obama makes a statement on the resignation of Egypt's President Hosni Mubarak in the Grand Foyer at the White House in Washington, Friday, Feb. 11, 2011. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Obama says Egypt must reach 'genuine democracy'

Calling the upheaval in Cairo a chance "to witness history taking place," President Obama on Friday said Egypt now has an obligation to follow through to full democracy now that President Hosni Mubarak has ceded power and fled the city. Published February 11, 2011

DISCOVERED DOCUMENTS: A new book shows President Lincoln pursued colonization of freed slaves. (Associated Press)

Book: Lincoln sought to deport freed slaves

The Great Emancipator was almost the Great Colonizer: Newly released documents show that to a greater degree than historians had previously known, President Lincoln laid the groundwork to ship freed slaves overseas to help prevent racial strife in the U.S. Published February 9, 2011

Earmarks end for one year, but perk still potent on Hill

Capitol Hill insiders say at least 75 percent of lawmakers privately still think earmarking is a correct and proper use of congressional authority. Yet last week, one of the Senate's champion earmarkers, Sen. Daniel K. Inouye of Hawaii, hammered home the nail that officially ended the practice — at least for the time being. Published February 9, 2011

Katrina, Bridge to Nowhere spurred 'storm' that doomed earmarks

It may have looked like boom times for earmarkers in 2006, when they carved out a record $29 billion in projects — but little did lawmakers realize that a perfect storm of events the year before had set the clock ticking on pork. Published February 9, 2011

American Conservative Union Chairman David Keene says CPAC is the place to meet new conservative people and parse out the politics. (Associated Press)

CPAC fissure over gays deepens; GOProud called incompatible

Deepening a rift ahead of the largest annual gathering of conservative activists in Washington this week, some of the movement's top leaders have circulated a private memo urging that conservatism's founding principles be recast to exclude gay rights groups from the Reagan coalition of economic, defense and social conservatives. Published February 8, 2011

Ronald Reagan, with wife Nancy and brother Neil, holds a gold key to his boyhood home in Dixon, Ill., on Feb. 6, 1984. The home, preserved by a nonprofit foundation, is the most likely candidate for purchase by the National Park Service. (Associated Press)

Reagan's own philosophy puts his boyhood home in limbo

Nearly a decade after Congress told the National Park Service to try to buy Ronald Reagan's boyhood home, the plan remains in limbo — the victim of a budget dispute and of the former president's own limited-government philosophy. Published February 3, 2011

Republicans find places to cut $43 billion

The Republicans who control of the purse strings in the House announced plans Thursday to cut basic domestic spending by at least $43 billion this year through reductions to most federal departments — though they still fell short of the GOP's pledge just months ago to return to pre-stimulus levels. Published February 3, 2011

Debate one-sided as Senators all praise Reagan

Sen. Joe Lieberman still remembers the trepidation he felt in January 1989 when he was to deliver the Democrats' radio response — the one to follow then-President Reagan's final weekly radio address before leaving office. Published February 3, 2011

**FILE** Ronald Reagan (Associated Press)

Ronald Reagan's enduring legacy

From the granite facade of Mount Rushmore to road signs and school buildings in communities across the country, the push is going strong to enshrine Ronald Reagan's legacy in stone and steel — a fitting tribute, admirers say, to the man who ended communism in Europe and turned the political debate from Roosevelt's New Deal to supply-side economics or, more simply, Reaganism. Published February 3, 2011