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Stephen Dinan

Stephen Dinan

Stephen Dinan can be reached at

Articles by Stephen Dinan

Long history of vote-trading on Capitol Hill

UPDATED: As it has come down in history, President Andrew Johnson's narrow escape from being the first president convicted on impeachment charges in 1868 depended on the honorable doings of Sen. Edmund Ross of Kansas. Published December 24, 2009

Health bill faces constitutional challenge

With their procedural options in the Senate exhausted, Republicans are looking to the Constitution for a way to fight the Democrats' health care reform bill. Published December 23, 2009

Senate clears second hurdle on health care

In a series of votes Tuesday morning, the Senate hurdled another procedural roadblock to health care and remained on track to pass Democrats' bill by Christmas. Published December 22, 2009

Defense bill comes at a price for taxpayers

President Obama won most of his spending fights with Congress over the Defense Department this year, but it cost several billion dollars of taxpayers' money to buy legislative peace. Published December 22, 2009

Senate passes $636 billion bill for defense

The Senate on Saturday sent the final spending bill of the year, the $636.3 billion defense measure, to President Obama to sign into law, setting the stage for a stretch run to try to pass health care reform by Christmas. Published December 20, 2009

Senate sends Pentagon budget bill to Obama

The Senate on Saturday sent the final spending bill for fiscal year 2010, the $636.3 billion defense spending bill, to President Obama to sign into law, setting the stage for a stretch run to try to pass health care. Published December 19, 2009

Dems block GOP's defense bill filibuster

The Senate early Friday headed off a Republican filibuster on the final spending bill of the year, clearing the way both for the bill's passage and for the final endgame on a health care bill. Published December 19, 2009

Spending earmark sends $100,000 grant to wrong coast

When he earmarked $100,000 in taxpayer spending to go to Jamestown's library, Rep. James E. Clyburn meant for it to go to the library in Jamestown, S.C., which is in his district. Published December 18, 2009

Senate heads off filibuster on defense bill

The Senate early Friday headed off a Republican filibuster on the final spending bill of the year, clearing the way both for the bill's passage and for the final end-game on a health care bill. Published December 18, 2009

Lawmakers renew immigration-reform push

Tossing another hot potato on the 2010 congressional schedule, top Hispanic Democrats outlined Tuesday a major immigration-reform proposal that is more generous to illegal immigrants than the last two bills that failed to make it into law in the past three years. Published December 16, 2009

Immigration bill backers try again despite jobless rate

Democrats on Tuesday begin their new push for an immigration bill, hamstrung by the image of legalizing millions of illegal immigrant workers at a time when the unemployment rate stands at 10 percent -- more than twice what it was the last time Congress tried to act. Published December 15, 2009

GOP to replicate anti-Pelosi Ky. race

From the direct-mail literature featuring picture after picture of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, you would have thought Jimmy Higdon was running for Congress in last week's special election in Kentucky, not a state Senate seat. Published December 15, 2009

Democrat seeks veto on spending bill

A Senate Democrat on Monday called on President Obama to veto the $1.1 trillion catchall spending bill Congress sent the White House over the weekend, saying the president must "take the credit card away from the politicians who just want to spend, spend, spend." Published December 14, 2009

Senate sends $1.1T pork-laden bill to Obama

The Senate on Sunday sent President Obama another hot potato, passing a $1.1 trillion catchall spending bill that includes money needed to run dozens of government agencies but also is loaded with pork-barrel spending. Published December 14, 2009

Immigration database adding self-check option

U.S. immigration authorities are planning to add a self-check system so workers can pre-screen themselves with E-Verify, the controversial electronic database used on a voluntary basis by some employers to screen their employees. Published December 11, 2009

McCain, Coburn antsy over stimulus 'waste'

Republican senators said Tuesday the nearly $1 million in stimulus money being spent to study the division of labor among ants and the $400,000 spent to catalog Buffalo, N.Y., residents' drinking and drug habits are proof that President Obama's $787 billion economic recovery program is filled with waste. Published December 9, 2009

Dems campaign against Afghan surge

President Obama's planned troop surge is proving to be a rallying point for some Democrats - although most are blasting his stance on boosting the U.S. presence in Afghanistan. Published December 8, 2009

Hoyer blasts GOP as 'Party of No'

House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer said Republicans have failed the test of leadership by refusing to come to the table on the big issues facing the country. Published December 8, 2009

Dems want temporary 'don't ask' immunity

Frustrated by the lack of action to overturn the "don't ask, don't tell" policy, Congressional Democrats are calling for at least temporary immunity so gay service members can testify about their experiences. Published December 4, 2009

Democrats win $400B in Medicare cuts

In the first showdown over the Senate health care bill, Democrats on Thursday successfully defended more than $400 billion in Medicare cuts, turning back a potentially lethal stab at the measure. Published December 4, 2009