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Stephen Dinan

Stephen Dinan

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

Articles by Stephen Dinan

"We're sending a message to the Democrat-controlled Senate: It's time to do your job," House Speaker John A. Boehner said Wednesday. (Associated Press)

Republican strategy switch clears the way for debt hike

Acting well before the deadline and with rare bipartisan unity, the House voted Wednesday to waive the federal debt ceiling for the next four months as Republicans retreated from their insistence that any raising of the ceiling be matched dollar-for-dollar with spending cuts. Published January 23, 2013

** FILE ** House Speaker John A. Boehner, Ohio Republican, walks to his ceremonial office off the House floor to greet new members of Congress at the Capitol in Washington on Monday, Jan. 14, 2013. (Associated Press)

GOP reverses course, kicks debt extension down the road

House Republicans backed away from threats of a government shutdown on Wednesday, passing a bill that pushes a debt crisis off until at least the middle of May to give all sides more space to negotiate broader tax and spending deals. Published January 23, 2013

** FILE ** House Speaker John A. Boehner, Ohio Republican, walks to his ceremonial office off the House floor to greet new members of Congress at the Capitol in Washington on Monday, Jan. 14, 2013. (Associated Press)

Tying members’ pay to debt limit legal, GOP says

House Republicans will force a vote Wednesday on a plan to stave off a debt-ceiling crisis for three months, but it's the rest of their plan — to hold lawmakers' pay hostage to their ability to pass a budget — that is testing the limits of the Constitution. Published January 22, 2013

The sun rises behind the Capitol Dome early in the morning before the ceremonial swearing-in of President Barack Obama at the U.S. Capitol during the 57th Presidential Inauguration in Washington, Monday, Jan. 21, 2013. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Obama gut-busting lunch menu tops 3,000 calories

The ceremonial lunch President Obama and his former congressional colleagues are eating Monday tops out at 3,000 calories, according to a website that has tallied up the luxurious menu of lobster, bison and apple pie. Published January 21, 2013

President Obama talks with Vice President Joseph R. Biden in the presidential box during the inaugural parade down Pennsylvania Avenue en route to the White House on Jan. 21, 2013. (Associated Press)

Biden seems revved up and ready for 2016

Even as President Obama on Monday grasped the reins of power for another four years, the man who would be his successor — Vice President Joseph R. Biden — was never far away. Published January 21, 2013

President Obama cited the beginning of the Constitution's preamble during an 18-minute speech Monday from the grand platform of the Capitol as he started his second term in office with a blueprint for national unity. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington times)

Obama uses the Constitution as basis for his aggressive plans

President Obama's appeal for unity in his inaugural address four years ago gave way Monday to a more pointedly aggressive vision of liberalism and social justice, coming from a chief executive who survived his first term's legislative battles and is determined to make his second term consequential. Published January 21, 2013

The sun rises over Capitol Hill looking down Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, Monday, Jan. 21, 2013, as Washington prepares for the 57th Presidential Inaugural and the ceremonial swearing-in of President Barack Obama's second term. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Mall swells with inauguration crowd

Hundreds of thousands of well-wishers for President Obama were streaming onto the National Mall in front of the Capitol early Monday morning in anticipation of the ceremonial inauguration. Published January 21, 2013

President Obama is officially sworn in by Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. in the Blue Room of the White House during the 57th Presidential Inauguration in Washington on Sunday, Jan. 20, 2013. (AP Photo/Brendan Smialowski, Pool)

Obama faces a daunting 4 years as he takes the reins for second term

Barack Hussein Obama took the presidential oath at 11:55 Sunday morning in a small ceremony at the White House, gripping the reins of office for another four-year term and a chance to build on his already historic legacy — though unlike the beginning of his first term, he now faces a divided Congress capable of thwarting him. Published January 20, 2013

Vice President Joseph R. Biden takes the oath of office, administered by Supreme Court Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor at the residence of the vice president at the U.S. Naval Observatory as Jill Biden looks on, on Sunday, Jan. 20, 2012, in Washington. (AP Photo/New York Times, Josh Haner, Pool)

Biden officially sworn in to second term

Vice President Joseph R. Biden was officially sworn in to a second term of office Sunday morning at a small ceremony at the Naval Observatory, hours ahead of President Obama's expected inauguration in a similar ceremony at the White House. Published January 20, 2013

**FILE** Transportation Security Administration employee Anthony Brock (left) demonstrates a new full-body scanner with TSA employee Andres Lozano at San Diego's Lindbergh Field on Sept. 1, 2010. The American Civil Liberties Union has denounced the machines as a "virtual strip search." (Associated Press/San Diego Union Tribune)

TSA to scrap full-body 'naked' X-ray scanners

The Obama administration says it will scrap the controversial airport X-ray machines that critics said showed a little too much of travelers' bodies. Published January 18, 2013

Leahy: Abolish mandatory minimum sentences

The longest-serving Democrat in the Senate on Wednesday called for scrapping mandatory minimum sentences at both the federal and state levels, and said he wants Congress to take a critical look at the way U.S. law enforcement agencies use drones. Published January 16, 2013

** FILE ** Sen. Patrick J. Leahy, Vermont Democrat (Associated Press)

Top Senate Democrat warns against police use of drones

The senior Democrat in the Senate on Wednesday called for scrapping mandatory minimum sentences at both the federal and state levels and said he wants Congress to take a critical look at the way police agencies in the United States are using drones. Published January 16, 2013

Obama using gun issue to advance health law

President Obama is using the national debate over gun violence to push for further action on his health care law, including insisting on the kind of mental health coverage states must provide under their Medicaid programs. Published January 16, 2013

Sen. Charles E. Schumer, New York Democrat (AP Photo/Luis M. Alvarez)

Schumer says he'll back Hagel nomination for Pentagon

Sen. Charles E. Schumer said Tuesday he will vote to confirm former Sen. Chuck Hagel to be secretary of defense, clearing a major hurdle to President Obama's pick for the Pentagon chief. Published January 15, 2013