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Stephen Dinan

Stephen Dinan

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

Articles by Stephen Dinan

President Barack Obama waves as he is introduced to the troops at a rally during an unannounced visit at Bagram Air Field in Afghanistan on Friday, Dec. 3, 2010. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Obama makes surprise trip to Afghanistan

Making a surprise trip to Afghanistan to get a first-hand look at the state of the war on terror, President Obama told U.S. troops there that they are succeeding in the mission he gave them. Published December 3, 2010

ASSOCIATED PRESS
CHASTENED: Rep. Charles B. Rangel, New York Democrat, speaks to the media after being censured by the House for 11 ethics violations, mostly related to his efforts to raise funds for the Charles B. Rangel Center for Public Policy.

Divided House votes to censure Rangel on ethics

Acknowledging they were breaking new ground, deeply divided House lawmakers voted Thursday to censure Rep. Charles B. Rangel for breaking tax laws and House rules, saying Congress needed to live up to Speaker Nancy Pelosi's pledge to be open, honest and ethical. Published December 2, 2010

House tax-cut vote not likely to sway Senate

Flexing their soon-to-expire legislative muscle, House Democrats on Thursday won a symbolic but potentially hollow victory to extend only some of the Bush-era tax cuts while letting taxes rise beginning next month for wealthier Americans. Published December 2, 2010

ASSOCIATED PRESS
CHASTENED: Rep. Charles B. Rangel, New York Democrat, speaks to the media after being censured by the House for 11 ethics violations, mostly related to his efforts to raise funds for the Charles B. Rangel Center for Public Policy.

Divided House votes to censure Rangel

Acknowledging they were breaking new ground, deeply divided House lawmakers voted Thursday to censure Rep. Charles B. Rangel for breaking tax laws and House rules, saying Congress needed to live up to Speaker Nancy Pelosi's pledge to be open, honest and ethical. Published December 2, 2010

House Dems ram through tax vote

Flexing their soon-to-expire legislative muscle, House Democrats on Thursday won a symbolic but hollow victory to end Bush-era tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans starting Jan. 1, while preserving cuts for all lower-income taxpayers. Published December 2, 2010

Immigration bill faces last chance before GOP takes House control

Both chambers of Congress will vote in the coming days on a bill to legalize children and young adult illegal immigrants - a last-minute attempt to pass something before Republicans take control of the House next year and likely put legalization out of reach. Published December 1, 2010

House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer says the chamber will vote on a bill that would extend the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts for most Americans, but call for a tax increase for those making more than $250,000.

GOP senators press Democrats to tackle spending bills, tax cuts

Republican senators said Wednesday they will block all business in the chamber until Democrats tackle the long-overdue spending bills and impending tax increases, raising the level of brinkmanship to new heights even as House Democrats prepared to push ahead with a partisan tax vote Thursday. Published December 1, 2010

** FILE ** Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Nevada Democrat, gestures during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington on Tuesday, Nov. 30, 2010. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

GOP vows to stall Senate until tax cuts are passed

Republican senators said Wednesday they'll block all business in the chamber until Democrats tackle the long-overdue spending bills and tax increases impending at the end of this year, raising the level of brinksmanship to new heights. Published December 1, 2010

Earmark ban fails in Senate, succeeds in adding support

The Senate on Tuesday rejected a moratorium on earmark spending, in a test vote that nonetheless showed surging support for a ban and left foes of pork-barrel spending predicting that the end of the practice is near. Published November 30, 2010

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From left, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, House Minority Whip Eric Cantor and House Minority Leader John A. Boehner leave a news conference on Capitol Hill on Tuesday. They talked about their meeting at the White House with President Obama.

Obama, GOP leaders seek truce on tax cuts

With tax increases looming, President Obama and congressional leaders tapped a group of high-level negotiators Tuesday to seek a compromise that will extend the George W. Bush-era tax breaks due to expire on Jan. 1. Published November 30, 2010

Obama, GOP agree to tax-cut task force

Seeking to bridge a deep divide on tax cuts, President Obama and congressional Republicans said they will form a short-term task force to try to come up with a compromise on extending the Bush-era tax breaks, and to report back within several days. Published November 30, 2010

Obama, GOP will try to reach accord on taxes and arms

Nearly two years after a newly installed President Obama ended an argument with congressional Republicans with the simple line "I won," he goes back into a room with them on Tuesday having now lost, and badly. Published November 29, 2010

ASSOCIATED PRESS
LIP SERVICE: Despite an injured mouth that required 12 stitches, President Obama was able to deliver a statement at the White House on Monday.

Obama demands 2-year pay freeze for federal workers

Calling it a starting point for a looming showdown on budget cuts, President Obama on Monday demanded a two-year pay freeze for federal civilian workers, aligning himself with congressional Republicans and against his labor union allies who warned that the freeze would "stick it" to the government work force. Published November 29, 2010

Obama to freeze federal pay for 2 years

President Obama called for a two-year federal civilian worker pay freeze Monday, fighting back against a sentiment that government workers have done better than private-sector workers during the economic slump. Published November 29, 2010

House GOP vows unfettered vote on raising of debt ceiling

For the first time in years, House lawmakers will soon have the chance to vote on a standalone measure to increase the federal debt limit next year under the new Republican majority — a vote that's shaping up as the first early test of the GOP's commitment to spending restraint. Published November 7, 2010

RESOLUTE: Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell puts Democrats on notice Thursday that Republicans in the Senate will keep trying to repeal the Obama health care law. (Associated Press)

New split on Hill resets old divides

So much for cooperation. Two days after voters split control of Congress, Republicans and Democrats already were fighting over the direction they'll take when they come back to Washington. Published November 4, 2010

McConnell: Obama must 'move in our direction'

The Senate Republican leader said Thursday his party can't "reverse the damage Democrats have done" as long as President Obama still holds the veto, but said if the president wants to get anything done over the next two years he will have "to move in our direction." Published November 4, 2010

376 years of Democratic experience tossed

Neither rookies nor seasoned veterans were spared in Tuesday's House Democratic bloodbath, which saw Republicans defeat three major committee chairmen and at least seven lawmakers who had 20 years' seniority or more in Congress. Published November 3, 2010

Democrats lose centuries of seniority in House

Neither rookies nor seasoned veterans were spared in Tuesday's House Democratic bloodbath, which saw Republicans defeat three major committee chairmen and at least seven lawmakers who claimed 20 years' seniority or more in Congress. Published November 3, 2010

House Republican leader John Boehner of Ohio celebrates Tuesday during an election night gathering hosted by the National Republican Congressional Committee at the Grand Hyatt hotel in Washington. The GOP's victory changes the balance of power in Congress and will likely elevate Boehner to speaker of the House. (Associated Press)

'Humbled' Boehner pledges drive to curb spending

The man likely to lead House Republicans when they take control of Congress next year said Wednesday that his party is "humbled" by winning the 60-plus seats that have delivered the chamber to the GOP, and said the House's first order of business under Republican control will be to reduce spending. Published November 3, 2010