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Stephen Dinan

Stephen Dinan

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

Articles by Stephen Dinan

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., right, confers with Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, left, the ranking member, as the Senate Judiciary Committee assembles to work on a landmark immigration bill to secure the border and offer citizenship to millions, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Monday, May 20, 2013. Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., stands at center. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

House Republicans find holes in immigration bill

Less than 24 hours after senators powered their immigration bill through committee, the legislation came under fire in the House, where the former head of immigration enforcement testified that it has too many loopholes that could delay enforcement, let dangerous people in, and hamstring agents from fighting illegal immigration in the future. Published May 22, 2013

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Nevada Democrat, speaks May 21, 2013, during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington following the Democratic policy luncheon. (Associated Press)

Reid: D.C. court needs Obama nominees for ideological balance

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Wednesday that he will push to confirm more judges to the federal appeals court in Washington after that court ruled this year that President Obama's broad use of recess appointment powers was unconstitutional. Published May 22, 2013

President Obama answers questions during his new conference in the Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House in Washington on April 30, 2013. (Associated Press)

Obama defends drone strikes, reignites Gitmo debate in crucial speech

U.S. drone strikes have killed four Americans, including one who was "specifically targeted" and three others who were not targets, Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. said in a letter to Congress on Wednesday, publicly confirming the strikes for the first time. Published May 22, 2013

The exterior of the Internal Revenue Service building in Washington is seen here on March 22, 2013. (Associated Press) **FILE**

Group sues over IRS, demands agency approve application

True the Vote — one of the conservative groups the IRS subjected to special scrutiny in its application for tax-exempt status — sued the federal government on Tuesday, demanding the tax agency approve its application that has now been pending for three years. Published May 21, 2013

** FILE ** Sen. Lindsey Graham, South Carolina Republican, responds to questions and offers remarks during an interview in Washington on Wednesday, July 6, 2011. (Rod Lamkey Jr./The Washington Times)

Immigration reform bill clears committee hurdles, heads to full Senate

The Senate immigration bill cleared the Judiciary Committee on a bipartisan vote Tuesday night, ducking — for now — big fights on guns, gay rights and how broadly the legalization is drawn, and leaving the 867-page overhaul mostly unscathed by conservative attacks. Published May 21, 2013

**FILE** Roberto Morales, 25, holds a sign representing a permanent resident card while attending the "Rally for Citizenship" on Capitol Hill on April 10, 2013, in support of immigration reform. (Associated Press)

Immigration bill backers say not all back-taxes will be paid

The Senate immigration bill's authors acknowledged Tuesday that their legislation does not require illegal immigrants to pay all back taxes, saying it would be too difficult to make them ante up everything they might owe. Published May 21, 2013

Senate Judiciary Committee members (from left) Chuck Grassley, Iowa Republican, Charles E. Schumer, New York Democrat, and Patrick J. Leahy, Vermont Democrat, confer Monday on the landmark immigration bill. (Associated Press)

Senate panel OKs tax-welfare benefits for newly legal immigrants

The Senate Judiciary Committee voted Monday to allow illegal immigrants who get legal status to begin collecting tax-welfare payments, as the panel spent a fourth day working through amendments to the massive immigration bill and party-line splits began to emerge. Published May 20, 2013

Sen. Chuck Grassley, Iowa Republican, introduced an amendment to the immigration bill that would prevent changes to the asylum or refugee systems until after an audit of what went wrong in Boston.
(Associated Press)

Rethinking immigration rules for asylum after Boston

The Boston Marathon bombing hasn't derailed the immigration debate, but it has sent lawmakers back to the drawing board on some key provisions, including changes to the asylum system that the two suspects in the bombing used to come to the U.S. Published May 19, 2013

Illegal immigrants easily step over a fallen barbed-wire fence between Mexico and the United States near the town of Sasabe, Mexico, in 2004. The number of apprehensions of illegal border-crossers is down while the number of deaths in the desert is high. (Associated Press)

Non-deportation rate drops — to 99.2 percent

The Homeland Security Department has granted legal status to 99.2 percent of all illegal immigrants who have applied under President Obama's new non-deportation policy for young adults, according to the latest numbers released Friday. Published May 18, 2013

**FILE** House Oversight Committee Chairman Rep. Darrell Issa, California Republican, speaks on Capitol Hill in Washington on May 15, 2013. (Associated Press)

House GOP issues subpoena in Benghazi investigation

The chairman of the House oversight committee on Friday subpoenaed the senior diplomat who ran the State Department's investigation into the Benghazi attack, saying lawmakers deserve to be able to depose him before he testifies publicly. Published May 17, 2013

**FILE** Protesters hold signs outside a U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform field hearing on a National Labor Relations Board complaint against Boeing Co., in North Charleston, S.C., on June 17, 2011. (Associated Press)

2nd court invalidates Obama's recess pick for NLRB

A federal appeals court ruled Thursday that President Obama violated the Constitution when he made a recess appointment to the National Labor Relations Board, marking the second panel to rebuke the administration and making the issue even more likely to draw Supreme Court scrutiny. Published May 16, 2013

**FILE** Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents take a suspect into custody on March 30, 2012, as part of a nationwide immigration sweep in Chula Vista, Calif. (Associated Press)

Feds gave witness protection to terrorists

The federal government gave witness protection to known and suspected terrorists and the U.S. Marshals Service even lost track of two of those people, according to a report Thursday from the Justice Department's auditor that exposes the previously hidden side of the witness program. Published May 16, 2013

**FILE** In this photo proved by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, an unidentified immigrant is taken into custody in Dallas on Sept. 8, 2012. (Associated Press/ICE)

Final tally: DHS released 622 criminals as part of sequester

Two key senators said Thursday that Homeland Security officials should face discipline for their role earlier this year in releasing 622 criminal immigrants, including 32 with multiple felony convictions, in a move the Obama administration initially blamed on the budget sequester cuts. Published May 16, 2013

"It is pretty unanimous that you have to address border security. This will put some real metrics to that. Take that out of the hands of the secretary of Homeland Security, and be more objective."

Securing border driving House's immigration efforts

Even as the Senate is pushing its massive immigration bill, the House is beginning to move pieces of the puzzle through its committees with a vote Wednesday to force the Obama administration to stiffen border security. Published May 15, 2013

**FILE** Sen. Marco Rubio, Florida Republican, speaks Feb. 7, 2013, with The Associated Press in his Capitol Hill office in Washington. (Associated Press)

Rubio lists amendments to sweeten immigration bill

Sen. Marco Rubio's office circulated a list this month of ways to toughen security in the immigration bill he helped negotiate, including potential amendments to cut down on chain migration, to require newly legal immigrants to show financial self-sufficiency and to build 700 miles of double-tier fencing along the border. Published May 15, 2013

**FILE** Copies of President Obama's budget plan for fiscal year 2014 are distributed to Senate staff on Capitol Hill in Washington on April 10, 2013. (Associated Press)

Federal deficit to drop well below $1 trillion

The federal deficit this year will be $642 billion, according to an estimate Tuesday from the Congressional Budget Office that marks the first time President Obama will have overseen a deficit of less than $1 trillion. Published May 14, 2013