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Stephen Dinan

Stephen Dinan

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

Articles by Stephen Dinan

Obama administration changes deportation focus

Under fire for its stepped-up deportation program, the Obama administration said Friday it will take a number of steps intended to focus on criminal aliens and make it less likely illegal immigrants without convictions are deported. Published June 17, 2011

**FILE** In this April 16, 2010, file photo, Gary Niemeyer finishes planting 1,550 acres of corn on his farm in Auburn, Ill. (Associated Press)

Senate strikes at ethanol handout

In a signal that austerity is now the prevailing attitude on Capitol Hill, the Senate voted Thursday to end billions of dollars in annual tax credits for blended ethanol — a once-sacrosanct program that has fallen victim to troubled government finances. Published June 16, 2011

Objecting ATF agents 'told to fall in line'

Federal agents testified to Congress on Wednesday that their superiors told them to stand down and watch as weapons flowed from gun dealers in Arizona to criminals and violent drug cartels in Mexico part of a now-discredited operation designed to catch gunrunners. Published June 15, 2011

** FILE ** A smoke and dust cloud from an explosion rises into the sky after a NATO airstrike in Tripoli, Libya, Tuesday, June 7, 2011. Moammar Gadhafi vowed to fight to the death in a defiant speech Tuesday after NATO military craft unleashed a ferocious series of daytime airstrikes on Tripoli. (AP Photo/Abdel Meguid al-Fergany)

Lawmakers sue to end U.S. role in Libya fight

A bipartisan group of House lawmakers went to court Wednesday to try to stop President Obama's troop deployment to Libya, saying it violates the law, but the White House submitted a report to Congress arguing that it is adhering to the War Powers Resolution because it is not actually engaged in "hostilities." Published June 15, 2011

Dennis J. Kucinich (Associated Press)

Kucinich demands international court probe of Libya mission

Rep. Dennis J. Kucinich, who on Wednesday went to a U.S. court in an effort to stop President Obama's troop deployment in Libya, also has told the United Nations and the International Criminal Court to look into whether NATO's bombing campaign has broken international law. Published June 15, 2011

Senate preserves ethanol subsidy, for now

The Senate voted Tuesday to preserve billions of dollars in government subsidies for ethanol in a vote that showed senators are not yet ready to undo the corporate handouts that have proliferated throughout the tax code in recent decades. Published June 14, 2011

Boehner gives Obama Friday deadline on Libya

Stepping up a simmering constitutional conflict, House Speaker John A. Boehner warned President Obama on Tuesday that unless he gets authorization from Congress for his military deployment in Libya, he will be in violation of the War Powers Resolution. Published June 14, 2011

CBO: 'Great deal of the pain' of downturn still to come

Congress' official scorekeeper said Tuesday that the United States will continue to see slow economic growth for the next several years as job openings and a lack of demand for goods and services continue to block a speedier rebound. Published June 14, 2011

**FILE** In this April 16, 2010, file photo, Gary Niemeyer finishes planting 1,550 acres of corn on his farm in Auburn, Ill. (Associated Press)

Ethanol vote to set off GOP subsidy battles

A long-simmering fight among Republicans will burst onto the public stage Tuesday when the Senate votes on eliminating government subsidies for ethanol producers — the first skirmish in what is expected to be a much bigger war over tax breaks, carve-outs and other taxpayer funding that boosts U.S. businesses and can fund American jobs. Published June 13, 2011

Rep. Anthony Weiner, New York Democrat, is questioned by the media near his home in the Queens borough, Saturday, June 11, 2011. The 46-year-old congressman acknowledged Friday that he had online contact with a 17-year-old girl from Delaware but said there was nothing inappropriate. (AP Photo/David Karp)

Weiner asks for leave from House as pressure to resign grows

Amid reports of an expanding official investigation into his online habits, top House Democrats on Saturday called on Rep. Anthony Weiner — but he reportedly said he will instead take a leave of absence and seek treatment. Published June 11, 2011

Romney runs in front; Dems try trip-ups

In the past month, Mitt Romney has delivered a widely panned defense of the health care legislation he signed as governor of Massachusetts and been the constant target of national Democratic attacks -- and also has seen his poll numbers rise and his status solidified as the best-positioned candidate to win the GOP nomination and take on President Obama. Published June 9, 2011

Judges seem receptive to health care challenge

President Obama's health care law received a chilly reception Wednesday from a federal appeals court that seemed wary of approving a major expansion of government coercion over the economic activity of millions of Americans. Published June 8, 2011

Government tax revenue growing in 2011

The job market still may be struggling, but wages and salaries are improving, and that helped shrink the federal deficit to $59 billion for May, according to the Congressional Budget Office — the lowest deficit in five years for that month. Published June 7, 2011

States balk at illegals program

Massachusetts announced Monday that it will refuse to join the federal government's Secure Communities initiative, becoming the latest state to balk at the Obama administration's key anti-illegal immigration program designed to target gang members and violent felons for deportation. Published June 6, 2011

Rep. Anthony D. Weiner, New York Democrat, leaves a news conference in New York on Monday, June 6, 2011, after admitting to sending a lewd photo of himself in underwear to a college student. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

Weiner remorseful, but not resigning

Admitting he lied to the public after being caught sending a lewd photo of himself in underwear to a college student, Rep. Anthony D. Weiner on Monday acknowledged making "terrible mistakes," but said he wouldn't step down from Congress. Published June 6, 2011

President Barack Obama walks to the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, Friday, June 3, 2011, as he returned from Ohio. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Bipartisan Congress rebuffs Obama on Libya mission

Crossing party lines to deliver a stunning rebuke to the commander in chief, the vast majority of the House voted Friday for resolutions telling President Obama he has broken the constitutional chain of authority by committing U.S. troops to the international military mission in Libya. Published June 3, 2011

U.S. debt rating faces downgrade

Moody's ratings agency warned Thursday that it probably would have to downgrade the U.S. government's debt rating unless the White House and Congress work out a "credible agreement on substantial deficit reduction" by the middle of next month. Published June 2, 2011

77,000 federal workers paid more than governors

More than 77,000 federal government employees throughout the country — including computer operators, more than 5,000 air traffic controllers, 22 librarians and one interior designer — earned more than the governors of the states in which they work. Published May 31, 2011

House rejects 'clean' debt-ceiling hike, 318-97

The House on Tuesday overwhelmingly rejected President Obama's request for a "clean" bill to raise the government's borrowing limit, signaling that any increase will instead have to be coupled with some sort of spending cuts. Published May 31, 2011