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Stephen Dinan

Stephen Dinan

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Articles by Stephen Dinan

"Without a threat of a government shutdown, this sets up a direct challenge to the president's unilateral actions on immigration when we have new majorities in both chambers of Congress," House Speaker John A. Boehner of Ohio told reporters after meeting in a closed-door session with his Republican caucus on Capitol Hill. Lawmakers face a midnight deadline to pass a budget. (Associated Press photographs)

Leadership courts centrist support for $1.1T spending bill as shutdown looms

Congressional leaders were trying to hold the center in the run-up to Thursday's government shutdown deadline, with Senate Democrats and House Republicans pleading for their troops to back a $1.1 trillion spending bill that had those on both extremes of the ideological spectrum fuming. Published December 10, 2014

In front of a sign that says "Gracias," meaning thank you in Spanish, President Barack Obama receives a hug from the owners of "La Hacienda" restaurant, Lilia Yepez, left, and Carlos Yepez, before ordering food to go from the Mexican restaurant in Nashville, Tenn., Tuesday, Dec. 9, 2014. Earlier in the afternoon in Nashville the president spoke about his executive actions on immigration. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

Obama's amnesty earns Hispanics' approval, support

Even as his support stagnates among others, President Obama saw a huge leap — 12 percentage points — in his approval rating among Hispanics after he announced his deportation amnesty last month, according to Gallup. Published December 10, 2014

House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio, joined at left by House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy of Calif., wraps up a meeting with reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Dec. 10, 2014, following a House GOP caucus meeting.  With time running short before Congress adjourns, Republicans and Democrats agreed Tuesday on a $1.1 trillion spending bill to avoid a government shutdown and delay a politically-charged struggle over President Barack Obama's new immigration policy until the new year. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

GOP scrambles for votes as conservatives, liberals balk at $1.1T spending bill

The IRS takes a $300 million cut and the EPA's staffing is reduced to levels not seen since the 1980s under the $1.1 trillion spending bill written by congressional negotiators, and which GOP leaders are pleading with their members to support ahead of key showdown votes this week. Published December 10, 2014

Nayleth Martinez from Honduras, carries a sign that reads in Spanish, "We need immigration reform now." (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

Obama amnesty makes future illegals deportation unlikely

The man who will oversee President Obama's new temporary amnesty said Tuesday that part of the reason for the program was to get the illegal immigrants working on the books, making it economically impossible for them ever to be deported by a future president. Published December 10, 2014

Jennifer Deasy shoots a pistol at the target range at Niagara Gun Range in North Tonawanda, N.Y., Thursday June 26, 2008. Americans can keep guns at home for self-defense, the Supreme Court ruled Thursday in the justices' first-ever pronouncement on the meaning of gun rights under the Second Amendment. (AP Photo/David Duprey)

Support for gun rights at highest point in two decades

Support for gun rights is higher than it's been in decades, according to the latest data from the Pew Research Center that signals a stunning turnaround in how Americans feel about the issue just two years after the Newtown school shooting. Published December 10, 2014

Senate report accuses CIA of engaging in torture, but agency fights back

After five years of investigations, 6.3 million pages of documents and one constitutional crisis over CIA snooping on Senate computers, Senate Democrats' "torture report" revealed striking new details of the extent of interrogation techniques used by the CIA, but even the 525-page summary of a 6,700-page report, complete with 38,000 footnotes, was unlikely to be the last word. Published December 9, 2014

In this Friday, Sept. 26, 2014 photo, released by the U.S. Air Force, a U.S Air Force KC-10 Extender refuels an F-22 Raptor fighter aircraft prior to strike operations in Syria. The F-22s, making their combat debut, were part of a strike package that was engaging Islamic State group targets in Syria. Washington and its Arab allies opened the air assault against the extremist group on Sept. 23, striking military facilities, training camps, heavy weapons and oil installations. The campaign expands upon the airstrikes the United States has been conducting against the militants in Iraq since early August. (AP Photo/U.S. Air Force, Russ Scalf )

President who vowed to end war, now seeks sweeping power to expand it

Secretary of State John F. Kerry told Congress Tuesday that President Obama wants expansive war powers to pursue the Islamic State terrorists wherever and however he deems necessary, stunning lawmakers by requesting a war authorization that would even allow the Pentagon to commit American combat troops to the fight. Published December 9, 2014

"This bill will allow us to fulfill our constitutional duty to responsibly fund the federal government and avoid a shutdown," said Rep. Harold Rogers, Kentucky Republican and chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, who wrote the final deal with Senate Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Barbara Mikulski, Maryland Democrat. (Associated Press)

Congress reaches deal on 1,600-page, $1.1 trillion spending bill

Congressional negotiators released the massive 1,600-page, $1.1 trillion spending bill late Tuesday and begged colleagues to vote for it as lawmakers rush to finish business and flee Washington before Christmas. The bill works out to nearly $700 million per page in spending, and covers almost all of the government's basic operations for the rest of the fiscal year, which lasts through September. Published December 9, 2014

FILE - In this Thursday, Oct. 16, 2014 file photo, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., makes comments during a national security roundtable at the Wayne County Veterans Services in Goldsboro, N.C. Hungary's foreign ministry says it has summoned the top American diplomat in Budapest after Sen. John McCain called Prime Minister Viktor Orban a "neo-fascist dictator." (AP Photo/Gerry Broome, File)

McCain defends torture report: Americans must learn 'what was done in their name'

Many Republicans are furious at Tuesday's release of the so-called "torture report," but Sen. John McCain, who himself spent years confined as a prisoner of war in Vietnam, defended the exhaustive look at the CIA's behavior post-Sept. 11, saying Americans must "know what was done in their name." Published December 9, 2014

Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper (Associated Press)

Obama renews NSA snooping for 90 more days

President Obama has renewed the NSA's phone-snooping program for another three months, with the administration saying Monday that it's too important to let it expire right now, defying members of Congress who said it was time to ax the controversial program. Published December 8, 2014

The states challenging President Obama's deportation amnesty have already won the first round in court after the case landed in the lap of Judge Andrew S. Hanen, a Bush appointee who issued a scorching rebuke to the Department of Homeland Security last year, accusing it of refusing to follow border security laws. (Associated Press)

Obama amnesty in jeopardy with Bush judicial appointee hearing states' challenge

The states challenging President Obama's deportation amnesty have already won the first round in court after the case landed in the lap of Judge Andrew S. Hanen, a Bush appointee who issued a scorching rebuke to the Department of Homeland Security last year, accusing it of refusing to follow border security laws. Published December 7, 2014

President Barack Obama speaks from behind protective glass during the National Christmas Tree lighting ceremony at the Ellipse near the White House in Washington, Thursday, Dec. 4, 2014. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Obama faces deadline on halting NSA snooping

President Obama has a Friday deadline to decide whether to halt his NSA phone-snooping program or to keep it going, and after Congress failed to stop it last month some lawmakers now say the White House should pull the plug on its own. Published December 5, 2014

House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio meets with reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Dec. 4, 2014.  Just days before government funding expires, House Republican leaders are trying to strike a balance between the conservatives determined to stop President Barack Obama’s immigration order and other lawmakers just as determined to avoid another politically damaging shutdown. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Boehner defends amnesty strategy, Obama vows veto

House Speaker John A. Boehner said Congress's hand is weak when it comes to trying to stop President Obama's executive actions on immigration, but said Thursday he and his GOP colleagues will try anyway — though he refused to say whether he would use the power of the purse to its fullest extent. Published December 4, 2014