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Stephen Dinan

Stephen Dinan

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Articles by Stephen Dinan

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Kentucky Republican, speaks to reporters at the Capitol in Washington on March 2, 2015. (Associated Press) **FILE**

Democrats filibuster trafficking bill; GOP to delay Lynch nomination

Senators found a new way to achieve partisan gridlock Tuesday as Democrats filibustered a bipartisan anti-human trafficking bill, and Republicans countered by saying they won't confirm Loretta Lynch, President Obama's pick to be the new attorney general, until he convinces his party to drop its blockade. Published March 17, 2015

The Social Security Administration's main campus in Woodlawn, Md., is seen here on  Jan. 11, 2013. (Associated Press) **FILE**

Feds shelled out $125B in bogus payments last year

The government paid out $124.7 billion in potentially bogus payments last year, the government's chief watchdog said Monday, blaming a controversial tax credit for the poor as well as increased bad payments in Medicare and Medicaid. Published March 16, 2015

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and fellow Republicans are trying to shift focus away from a controversial letter to Iranian leaders last week and back toward details of the nuclear deal President Obama is negotiating with the Islamic republic. (Associated Press)

Republicans demand voice on Iran deal

Republicans will try to find their footing anew on national security this week, looking to try to overcome last week's ill-received letter to Iran's leaders and instead focus on President Obama's negotiations, and on Congress' role in approving whatever deal he strikes with Tehran. Published March 15, 2015

In this March 2, 2015 photo, Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers try to gain entry to an apartment building, in the Bronx borough of New York, during a series of early-morning arrests. Immigrant and Customs Enforcement say an increasing number of cities and counties across the United States are limiting cooperation with the agency and putting its officers in dangerous situations as they track down foreign-born criminals. Instead, more of its force is out on the streets, eating up resources and conducting investigations because cities like New York and states like California have passed legislation that limits many of the detention requests issued by immigration authorities.  (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

Amnesty makes illegals eligible for all Social Security benefits: report

A Nebraska senator will introduce a bill Monday that would deny Social Security numbers to illegal immigrants approved for President Obama’s new deportation amnesty, as a new congressional study finds that those granted work permits under the amnesty would be eligible for all Social Security benefits. Published March 13, 2015

Then-Nebraska Republican Senate candidate, now Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb., speaks in Lincoln, Neb., in this Oct. 22, 2014, file photo. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik, File)

Senators demand to know how many illegals got Social Security numbers

The administration doled out about 90,000 Social Security numbers to illegal immigrants in the first months of President Obama's first amnesty in 2012, according to two GOP senators who demanded Thursday to know how many since then have been granted, and whether any benefits are already being paid out. Published March 12, 2015

Detained immigrant children line up in the cafeteria at the  Karnes County Residential Center,  a temporary home for immigrant women and children detained at the border, in Karnes City, Texas. (AP Photo/Eric Gay, File)

Immigrants' birth rates tumble as effect on population growth debated

Immigrants' birth rates have fallen precipitously in recent years, according to a report being released Thursday by the Center for Immigration Studies, which says the numbers undercut the argument immigrants are critical to ensuring the U.S. maintains its generous social safety net programs such as Social Security and Medicare. Published March 12, 2015

Late last year, or 18 months after she left office, Mrs. Clinton turned over 55,000 printed pages she said contained about 30,000 emails she believed were work-related that she sent during her time in office. (Associated Press)

State Department agrees to reopen Hillary Clinton email case

The State Department agreed to reopen at least one open-records court case that involved former Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton's emails, a conservative watchdog group told a federal court Thursday as the scandal over her personal email server continued to develop. Published March 12, 2015

President Obama's November 2014 amnesty policy, which has been put on hold by a federal court, would apply to as many as 4 million illegal immigrants. They would be granted three years of tentative legal status and be given work permits and Social Security numbers. (Associated Press)

Obama tax refunds for illegal immigrants to cost $2 billion over 5 years

Illegal immigrants will file 800,000 claims for Earned Income Tax Credit refunds under President Obama's new deportation amnesty, costing the government $2 billion over the next five years, Congress's scorekeeper predicted this week as key lawmakers proposed legislation to cancel what's become known as the "amnesty bonus." Published March 11, 2015

Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks to the reporters at United Nations headquarters on March 10, 2015. The Associated Press filed a lawsuit Wednesday against the State Department to force the release of email correspondence and government documents from Clinton's tenure as secretary of state. (Associated Press)

Associated Press files lawsuit demanding access to Clinton emails

The Associated Press sued the State Department Wednesday to demand it turn over former Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton's emails, saying Obama administration officials have botched five different open-records requests over the last five years. Published March 11, 2015

Answering questions for the first time about her emails, Hillary Rodham Clinton said she's turned over to the State Department 55,000 pages of emails she deemed work-related, but said she got rid of the rest last year. (Associated Press)

Hillary Clinton deleted 32,000 'private' emails, refuses to turn over server

Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton deleted nearly 32,000 emails she deemed private from her time in the Obama administration and refused Tuesday to turn over her personal email server, insisting she "fully complied" with the law and that voters will have to trust her judgment. Published March 10, 2015

President Obama speaks at the White House in Washington on March 1, 2013. (Associated Press)

Obamacare exchange customers set for significant premium spikes, CBO predicts

Obamacare exchange customers are about to see spikes in their premiums, the Congressional Budget Office predicted Monday, saying insurers that offer plans are facing twin pressures from the government and the marketplace that will mean hikes of more than 8 percent a year through 2018. Published March 9, 2015

Hillary Rodham Clinton's silence has left fellow Democrats to field pointed questions, with some saying she needs to be more forthcoming, while others have wavered, saying they believe the issue has been stoked by Republicans eager to score political points on the presumptive front-runner for Democrats' 2016 presidential nomination. (Associated Press)

Hillary Clinton scandal spreads as tea party group seeks private IRS emails

One of the tea party groups targeted by the IRS asked Congress Monday to demand the private emails of some agency employees, while a top committee chairman issued a request for instant-chat messages from the EPA, as the Clinton emails scandal begins to envelop other parts of the Obama administration. Published March 9, 2015

"I made it very clear after the November election that we're certainly not going to shut down the government or default on the national debt. We will figure some way to handle that," said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Kentucky Republican. (Associated Press)

McConnell vows to raise debt limit without threat of shutdown or default

Republicans will raise the government's borrowing limit without threatening a default, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell guaranteed Sunday, placating the markets but potentially surrendering the party's leverage as Congress gears up for another debt showdown. Published March 8, 2015