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Stephen Dinan

Stephen Dinan

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Articles by Stephen Dinan

Judge blocks Alabama immigration law

A federal district judge halted Alabama's tough new immigration law Monday just days before it was to take effect, making it the latest state to see a crackdown law blocked by a court. Published August 29, 2011

AFL-CIO President Richard L. Trumka speaks with reporters Aug. 25, 2011, during a breakfast hosted by the Christian Science Monitor at the St. Regis Hotel in D.C. (Michael Bonfigli/Christian Science Monitor)

Trumka: Labor support for Obama in question

The AFL-CIO has not decided yet if it will participate in next year's Democratic National Convention, as labor union members ponder whether President Obama has earned their support heading into next year's elections, the organization's head said Thursday. Published August 25, 2011

Stimulus boosted economy but fell short on jobs

President Obama's stimulus led to between 1.3 million and 3.3 million jobs at its peak last year, according to the latest account by Congress's chief scorekeeper, placing somewhere between a little bit and way short of the administration's goal of sustaining 3.5 million jobs. Published August 24, 2011

The National Debt Clock, a privately funded estimate of the national debt, is shown on Feb. 1, 2010, in New York. (Associated Press) **FILE**

Trillion-dollar deficits seen for years to come

The government will run another $1.3 trillion deficit in fiscal 2011, Congress' chief scorekeeper said Wednesday in a report that highlighted both an economy that will struggle over the next few years and a federal budget showing massive red ink for the foreseeable future. Published August 24, 2011

Temblor moves Senate meeting

The earthquake Tuesday didn't stop the Senate, which made political history after the temblor shook Washington and sent lawmakers scrambling to hold a pro forma session outside the Capitol for the first time in recent memory. Published August 23, 2011

Former Sen. Judd Gregg, New Hampshire Republican, said open meetings give too much ammunition to single-issue interest groups that "have no interest in the national agenda of fiscal responsibility." (Associated Press)

Debt panel trade-off: Exposure vs. efficiency

The congressional supercommittee charged with tackling the federal debt crisis is facing overwhelming calls to conduct all its deliberations in the open, but some voices are warning that too much transparency could end up dooming the whole thing. Published August 23, 2011

**FILE** Immigrant rights groups and community members call in Los Angeles on Aug. 15, 2011, for an end to the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) Secure Communities program, which was created in 2008 and calls for police to submit suspects' fingerprints to DHS so they can be cross-checked with federal deportation orders. (Associated Press)

Obama to deport illegals by 'priority'

Bowing to pressure from immigrant rights activists, the Obama administration said Thursday that it will halt deportation proceedings on a case-by-case basis against illegal immigrants who meet certain criteria, such as attending school, having family in the military or having primary responsible for other family members' care. Published August 18, 2011

** FILE ** Former Major League Baseball pitcher Roger Clemens leaves federal court in Washington on Thursday, July 14, 2011, after a federal judge declared a mistrial in his perjury trial after prosecutors showed jurors evidence that the judge had ruled out of bounds. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

Ex-congressman: Roger Clemens has 'suffered enough'

A former U.S. representative who prodded the Justice Department investigation that led to charges against Roger Clemens for lying to Congress said the seven-time Cy Young Award winner has paid his dues, and he doesn't see a reason to continue putting him on trial. Published August 18, 2011

Year after oil spill, Gulf seafood rebounds

President Obama is doing stomach stimulus this week as he eats his way across the Midwest, but exactly a year ago he had more riding on the presidential palate as he ate his way across the Gulf of Mexico coast, trying to revive the region's tourism and seafood industries one shrimp po' boy at a time. Published August 17, 2011

Fitch keeps U.S. credit rating at AAA

The Fitch Ratings agency on Tuesday affirmed its AAA credit rating for the federal government, giving the U.S. a boost just two weeks after another ratings agency marked it down for the first time in history. Published August 16, 2011

"Clearly, the policies of this administration are not working," said Sen. Patrick J. Toomey, one of the lawmakers newly appointed to the congressional panel assigned to develop recommendations to cut the debt. "So, what went wrong? Well, a big part of the problem has been job-killing regulations." (Associated Press)

Toomey focuses on fighting for spending cuts

He's the only member who voted against last week's debt deal, and also the only one who wrote his own individual budget this year - both of which make Sen. Patrick J. Toomey the wild-card selection to the 12-member deficit supercommittee charged with finding $1.5 trillion in deficit cuts by Thanksgiving. Published August 14, 2011

Supercommittee is short on dealmakers, compromisers

The 12-member supercommittee tasked with straightening out the country's fiscal mess is long on lawmakers who have already whiffed in recent months on chances to strike deals and short on those who have shown a readiness to make the compromises that all sides say will be needed. Published August 11, 2011

GOP picks 6 for deficit panel with tilt to spending cuts

Republican leaders Wednesday tapped six lawmakers with strong spending-cuts credentials to represent the party on the deficit supercommittee tasked with recommending $1.5 trillion in tax increases or spending cuts, sending a signal that the committee will focus heavily on trimming government. Published August 10, 2011

**FILE** Rep. Jeff Landry (left), Louisiana Republican, talks with an aide outside of the Senate Chamber on Capitol Hill on July 29, 2011. (Associated Press)

House GOP prevents recess appointments

To C-SPAN viewers, Tuesday's House session opened just like any other. But expand the camera angle a bit, and the scene is anything but business as usual. Published August 9, 2011

President Obama pauses as he speaks in the State Dining Room of the White House on Monday, Aug. 8, 2011, in Washington. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Obama renews call for more stimulus

Pummeled by ghastly economic news, President Obama called Monday for more spending and extended tax cuts that he said would help stimulate the economy — but these also could deepen the deficit problems that helped the federal government earn its first-ever debt downgrade last week. Published August 8, 2011

House pages cluster around President Obama before his State of the Union speech In January. After nearly 200 years, the House program is ending. The high school students served as messengers for lawmakers while getting a front-row seat to learn about Congress. (Associated Press)

Technology leads to end of House page program

Citing high costs and limited duties, House Speaker John A. Boehner and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said Monday that they are ending the page program that has seen both successes and its share of controversy in its near 200-year history. Published August 8, 2011

Deal puts FAA workers back on the job

The Senate on Friday moved to end a furlough of thousands of Federal Aviation Administration employees, using an abbreviated session of Congress to pass a stopgap bill that sends them back to work. Published August 5, 2011

FY2011 deficit tops $1 trillion, with two months to go

The federal deficit this year has now topped $1 trillion and is on pace for the second-largest shortfall in history, with the government recording its 34th straight month in the red, according to the latest data from the Congressional Budget Office. Published August 5, 2011

U.S. eats up most of debt limit in one day

U.S. debt shot up $239 billion on Tuesday — the largest one-day bump in history — as the government flexed the new borrowing room it earned in this week's debt-limit increase deal. Published August 3, 2011

Sen. Mike Lee, Utah Republican

Senate’s Republican freshmen ensure Tea Party is heard

As the final vote on raising the government's borrowing limit approached Tuesday, Republican after Republican took to the Senate floor to attack the bipartisan deal. The one unifying theme: Most were freshman, newly elected with the support of the tea party movement, and showed no qualms about bucking their own party's leaders who wrote the deal. Published August 2, 2011