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Stephen Dinan

Stephen Dinan

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Articles by Stephen Dinan

Sen. Patrick J. Leahy,
Vermont Democrat

Senate Dems begin push to repeal federal marriage law

Senate Democrats next week will begin a push to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act, the 1996 law that defines marriage for federal purposes and, to date, has meant states don't have to recognize gay marriages performed in other states. Published October 25, 2011

Sen. John Boozman, Arkansas Republican

Senators flout own immigration law on worker verification

Sen. John Boozman is co-sponsoring a bill that would require every employer in the country to use the E-Verify program to screen for illegal workers — but until earlier this month, the senator himself wasn't signed up for the system, thus violating a 1996 law that makes its use mandatory for all congressional offices. Published October 24, 2011

Withholding tax comes back to bite businesses

The last time Congress went on a deficit-cutting spree, lawmakers thought they had settled on a great way to squeeze more money from deadbeat contractors: Withhold 3 percent of all government contracts to make sure those companies paid their full tax bills each year. Published October 23, 2011

**FILE** Sen. Tom Coburn, Oklahoma Republican (Associated Press)

Senators find sweet spot in ending benefits to millionaires

Finding a rare piece of common ground when it comes to spending limits, Republicans and Democrats in the Senate voted overwhelmingly Friday morning to cut off federal farm payment handouts to farmers who already make more than $1 million a year. Published October 21, 2011

**FILE** President Obama speaks Oct. 17, 2011, at West Wilkes High School in Millers Creek, N.C., where his three-day bus tour promoting the American Jobs Act made a stop. (Associated Press)

Obama's jobs bill fails second Senate test

After halting President Obama's entire $447 billion jobs-stimulus bill last week, the Senate blocked a $35 billion slice of the package in a late-night filibuster vote Thursday that highlighted the lingering questions among both parties over the White House's plans. Published October 20, 2011

$3.2B wrongly taken in tuition tax credits

The federal government wrongly paid as much as $3.2 billion in college-tuition tax credits in the first five months of 2010, including payments to more than 1.7 million people who apparently weren't qualifying undergraduates, according to a new oversight report. Published October 20, 2011

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano speaks with Sen. Patrick J. Leahy (right), Senate Judiciary Committee chairman, prior to her testimony before the panel on Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2011, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Haraz N. Ghanbari)

Napolitano tells panel 400,000 deported in year

Homeland Security Secretary Janet A. Napolitano says her department has the resources to deport about 400,000 aliens each year, and the new guidance her department issued will only change the makeup of who gets deported. Published October 19, 2011

Reid uses 'nuclear option' to block GOP amendments

In a move that threatened to calcify an already dysfunctional Senate, Democrats on Thursday voted to change chamber precedent, in effect rewriting the rules to ban a work-around Republicans had used to force votes even when the Democrats in the majority didn't want to hold them. Published October 6, 2011

In Hill testimony, justices lift high court's veil

Partially lifting the veil that usually guards their actions, two Supreme Court justices on Wednesday painted the court as a bulwark for the Constitution and said some of today's cynicism about government stems from the public's scanty understanding of the founding document. Published October 5, 2011

Napolitano: U.S. will set record for deportations

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said Wednesday that the government is poised to set another record for deportations in just-ended fiscal 2011, citing the numbers as proof that the administration is not pursuing a backdoor amnesty for illegal immigrants that critics charge. Published October 5, 2011

White House press secretary Jay Carney says the GOP favors "reduced economic growth, reduced job creation" over wealthy jet owners. (Associated Press)

Obama ends long delay on free-trade agreements

President Obama on Monday finally sent Congress long-delayed free-trade agreements with Panama, South Korea and Colombia, breaking a deadlock that extends back to the George W. Bush administration and setting up a showdown on Capitol Hill. Published October 3, 2011

Senators see GAO budget cuts as payback

Pushed by budget hawks, the Senate Appropriations Committee has been searching in every nook and cranny for spending cuts, but it may have gone too far in calling for slashing nearly 8 percent from the budget of the government's chief watchdog next year. Published October 2, 2011

House acts to avert government shutdown

It took just five minutes for the House to pass a bill that will keep the federal government's basic operations running. Published September 29, 2011

President Obama, accompanied by Education Secretary Arne Duncan (left), delivers his back-to school speech on Sept. 28, 2011, at Benjamin Banneker Academic High School in D.C. (Associated Press)

Obama defends handling of illegal immigration

President Obama told a largely Latino audience Wednesday that his administration has not become more aggressive in deporting illegal immigrants, despite statistics to the contrary that he calls misleading. Published September 28, 2011

Watchdog: EPA cut corners on global-warming decision

The EPA's internal watchdog said this week that the Obama administration cut corners in evaluating the science it used to back up its 2009 finding that carbon is a dangerous pollutant and can be regulated under existing federal law. Published September 28, 2011