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Stephen Dinan

Stephen Dinan

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Articles by Stephen Dinan

Real work on debt limit still to come

The defining element of Sunday night's debt-limit deal is not what happens now, but what it sets up for the next five months: an all-out war between tax increasers and entitlement cutters, fought on the battlefield of a 12-member congressional "supercommittee." Published August 1, 2011

Debt deal: $32.4 billion per page

The debt framework President Obama and congressional leaders reached Sunday night runs 74 pages long, and could authorize as much as $2.4 trillion in new debt — or $32.4 billion per page. Published August 1, 2011

Biden works Capitol Hill for debt votes

The debt-limit framework has been struck — now leaders on Capitol Hill are feverishly seeking to sell it to their colleagues in the hope of beating Tuesday's deadline. Published August 1, 2011

Rep. Raul Grijalva of Arizona, the ranking Democrat on the House Natural Resources Committee, told National Journal this week that he may have been guilty of overreach even as he defended his probe into the funding sources of seven professors, now known as the "Grijalva Seven." (Associated Press)

Obama's base: We've been 'thrown under the bus'

Even without a debt-limit deal completed, liberal lawmakers and activist groups are already lining up against the outlines of the agreement, saying President Obama and congressional Democrats are risking Social Security while squandering a chance to force tax increases. Published July 31, 2011

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (right), Kentucky Republican, and Minority Whip Jon Kyl, Arizona Republican, head to a caucus meeting on Aug. 1, 2011, with fellow Republicans on Capitol Hill to discuss the debt plan. (Drew Angerer/The Washington Times)

Vote looms for a debt-limit deal

President Obama and congressional leaders late Sunday said they've settled on the outlines of a deal to raise the government's borrowing limit, and will pitch the deal to their colleagues Monday to try to tamp down burgeoning rebellions among both Democrats and Republicans. Published July 31, 2011

Senate delays debt vote as optimism grows

Saying debt-limit talks between the White House and Republicans are making some progress, Senate Democrats put off a 1 a.m. Sunday showdown vote. Published July 30, 2011

House votes to head off Senate debt bill in retaliatory strike

In a vote of theater politics, House Republicans introduced and then killed the Democrats' debt limit bill Saturday afternoon, trying to force both sides back to the negotiating table by showing there is no viable proposal left right now. Published July 30, 2011

Senate quickly kills House debt bill

The Senate late Friday rejected yet another House Republican proposal to stave off a looming debt crisis, acting just hours after the lower chamber had approved the measure and leaving the path to a deal still in doubt with just days to go before the Tuesday deadline. Published July 29, 2011

House doesn't vote on GOP debt bill

Lacking enough support to pass their debt-limit bill, House Republican leaders postponed a scheduled vote Thursday and were working feverishly behind closed doors to try to round up votes, though the delay further complicates matters as all sides struggle to beat an Aug. 2 deadline. Published July 28, 2011

CBO: Democrats' debt bill tops GOP's in spending cuts

The Senate Democratic debt-limit bill would cut future spending by $2.2 trillion over 10 years — much deeper than the House GOP alternative, according to figures Congress' chief scorekeeper released early Wednesday. Published July 27, 2011

Boehner plan runs into GOP rebellion

Facing a growing revolt in their own ranks, House Republican leaders said Tuesday they are rewriting their debt-limit increase bill after the Congressional Budget Office said Speaker John A. Boehner's plan does not save as much money as he had claimed. Published July 26, 2011

House GOP revolts against Boehner plan

House Republicans do not have enough support to pass their debt-ceiling increase plan on their own, a top conservative said Tuesday as his party's leaders tried to cobble together a coalition of Republicans and Democrats to put the bill over the top. Published July 26, 2011

Rep. Darrell E. Issa, California Republican, suspects an effort by the Obama administration to intimidate witnesses from testifying before his House committee regarding the "Fast and Furious" ATF cross-border firearms investigation. (Rod Lamkey Jr./The Washington Times)

Issa: Obama admin intimidating witnesses in ATF gun probe

The Obama administration sought to intimidate witnesses into not testifying to Congress on Tuesday about whether ATF knowingly allowed weapons, including assault rifles, to be "walked" into Mexico, the chairman of a House committee investigating the program said in an interview Monday. Published July 26, 2011

Obama speech tries to break debt logjam

Seeking to reclaim leadership on debt talks, President Obama on Monday night made a strenuous, last-minute pitch that tax increases be included in any deal, but Republicans' top negotiator, House Speaker John A. Boehner, said the president himself is now the chief roadblock to reaching an agreement. Published July 25, 2011

Parties close gap on cuts, still differ on size of debt hike

Some common ground emerged Monday in talks to raise the government's borrowing limit, with both Republicans and Democrats now focused on immediate spending cuts and a future committee to recommend bigger reductions — though they still disagree on how big the debt increase should be. Published July 25, 2011

Two sides craft debt plans before deadline

With no debt deal done and both sides racing an Aug. 2 deadline, Democrats and Republicans on Sunday readied separate backup plans to try to raise the government's borrowing limit and cut spending. Published July 24, 2011

Despondent leaders try to put debt talks on track

Hours after another White House meeting, debt talks have shifted to Congress, where top leaders were meeting Saturday evening — without President Obama — to try to come up with a deal that would raise the government's debt limit before an Aug. 2 deadline. Published July 23, 2011

In 1984, debt debate looked different to Biden, GOP

With time running out on a looming debt crisis, the president and his allies in the Senate are fighting to win a raise in the government's borrowing limit, only to be stymied by a minority insisting that a spending freeze be part of the deal. Sounds like present day, but it was October 1984 — when the partisan roles were reversed. Published July 19, 2011

Report on tax breaks a revealing read

Tax breaks for whaling ship captains, feeding stray cats and holding office parties for low-wage employees all have been ruled legal under tax law, according to a new report that comes just as the debate over so-called "tax expenditures," estimated to be worth as much as $1 trillion a year, is heating up. Published July 18, 2011

President Barack Obama talks about the ongoing budget negotiations during a news conference, Friday, July 15, 2011, in the briefing room of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Obama: No 'radical' budget fix needed

Fighting back against Republican calls for greater spending cuts, President Obama said Friday that the government doesn't need to make major changes to get its budget back on track and called for that solution to include some trims coupled with tax increases. Published July 15, 2011