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Stephen Dinan

Stephen Dinan

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

Articles by Stephen Dinan

House bill extends visa deadline for Iraqi translators

One casualty of Congress' spending fight could be Iraqi translators who helped the U.S. during that nation's war, but whose visa applications are about to stall unless Congress can extend a Sept. 30 deadline written into law. Published September 29, 2013

House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio, walks to the House Floor at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Saturday, Sept. 28, 2013.  Lawmakers from both parties urged one another in a rare weekend session to give ground in their fight over preventing a federal shutdown, with the midnight Monday deadline fast approaching. But there was no sign of yielding Saturday in a down-to-the-wire struggle that tea party lawmakers are using to try derailing President Barack Obama's health care law.  (AP Photo/Molly Riley)

House passes bill to delay Obamacare, keep government funded

With a government shutdown two days away, House Republicans powered their latest stopgap spending bill through the chamber early Sunday morning, trying yet again to put a dent in Obamacare while vowing they don't want a shutdown. Published September 29, 2013

** FILE ** House Speaker John A. Boehner, Ohio Republican, speaks President Obama. (Associated Press photographs)

House GOP to seek one-year delay in Obamacare on government shutdown bill

House Republicans said Saturday they will try to pass another stopgap spending bill that delays President Obama's health law for one year, in a final effort to try to put a dent in Obamacare before more of it takes effect next week — but Democrats immediately shot the plan down, saying it virtually guarantees a government shutdown. Published September 28, 2013

** FILE ** President Obama. (Associated Press)

Obama: Health law can't be stopped by govt. shutdown

President Obama said Friday that major parts of Obamacare will go into effect next week no matter what happens with the debate in Congress over stopgap spending, saying that should undercut Republicans' fight. Published September 27, 2013

Storm clouds hang over Capitol Hill in Washington, Friday, Sept. 27, 2013, as the Republican-controlled House and the Democrat-controlled Senate stand at an impasse with Congress continuing to struggle over how to fund the government and prevent a possible shutdown. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Senate defeats Cruz filibuster, passes bill that funds Obamacare

Senators from both parties linked arms to defy Sen. Ted Cruz, overcoming his attempt to filibuster the stopgap spending bill, which allowed Democrats to add back in full funding for Obamacare and power the bill through the chamber and sending it back to the House. Published September 27, 2013

Actor Jim Caviezel portraying Jesus in "The Passion of the Christ." (Associated Press)

Out of debate ideas, Congress turns to God

With a government shutdown looming and all sides digging in, the men of the cloth are weighing in, with the Senate chaplain delivering a stinging rebuke Friday morning of the shutdown showdown playing out in Congress. Published September 27, 2013

**FILE** Sen. Dianne Feinstein, California Democrat (Associated Press)

Congress takes action against NSA phone snooping; security argument fails

Congress took the first steps Thursday to restrain the NSA's phone-snooping program, with Sen. Dianne Feinstein laying out details of a bill that require phone data be deleted more quickly and agents to let a secret court know immediately every time they want to dig through the data. Published September 26, 2013

Ron Binz (From Ron Binz' Public Policy Consulting website)

Obama energy nominee Ron Binz becomes climate change battleground

President Obama's nominee to head an obscure but powerful energy panel is in deep trouble on Capitol Hill, but the White House said Thursday it's still standing by Ron Binz in what is shaping up to be a major battle over Mr. Obama's climate agenda. Published September 26, 2013

With four days to go before the federal government is due to run out of money, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (left), Nevada Democrat, looks at a countdown clock during a Sept. 26, 2013, news conference on Capitol in Washington, where Senate Democratic leaders blamed conservative Republicans for holding up a stopgap spending bill to keep the government running. From left are Reid, Senate Budget Committee Chair Sen. Patty Murray of Washington, Senate Majority Whip Richard Durbin of Illinois, Senate Appropriations Committee Chair Barbara Mikulski of Maryland, and Charles Schumer of New York, the Democratic Policy Committee chairman. (Associated Press)

Republican infighting over health care flares in Senate as shutdown looms

The Republican rift over Obamacare spilled onto the Senate floor Thursday during an ugly debate in which Sen. Ted Cruz questioned a colleague's knowledge of Senate rules and Sen. Bob Corker retorted that Mr. Cruz was putting his political ambitions ahead of his party and the country. Published September 26, 2013

Speaker of the House John Boehner, Ohio Republican, and GOP leaders speak to reporters after a closed-door strategy session at the Capitol in Washington on Sept. 26, 2013. (Associated Press)

Boehner rejects Senate stopgap spending bill

House Speaker John A. Boehner flatly ruled out a "clean" stopgap spending measure on Thursday, signaling that the House is not likely to accept the bill Senate Democrats are pushing through their chamber, and that both sides could be headed for shutdown. Published September 26, 2013

**FILE** U.S. Border Patrol agent Jerry Conlin looks to the north on June 13, 2013, near where the border wall ends as is separates Tijuana, Mexico and San Diego. (Associated Press)

Video may record border agents' actions as complaints rise

The federal agency that oversees the U.S. borders said Wednesday it will begin testing the use of video cameras, possibly on agents' and officers' uniforms, as the Obama administration tries to get a handle on complaints about excessive use of force. Published September 25, 2013

This image from Senate video show Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, speaking on the Senate floor at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2013. Cruz says he will speak until he's no longer able to stand in opposition to President Barack Obama's health care law. Cruz began a lengthy speech urging his colleagues to oppose moving ahead on a bill he supports. The measure would prevent a government shutdown and defund Obamacare. (AP Photo/Senate TV)

As Sen. Ted Cruz gives a long speech, Treasury gets short on funding

The Treasury Department said Wednesday that it has less than a month's worth of room to maneuver before it hits the debt limit, dropping yet another major fiscal deadline in the lap of a Congress already stymied over the annual spending bills. Published September 25, 2013

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, leaves the floor of the Senate after skirmishing with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., over the Affordable Care Act, popularly know as "Obamacare," at the Capitol in Washington, Monday, Sept. 23, 2013. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Sen. Ted Cruz's talkathon mostly a spectacle

Republican leaders said Tuesday that a filibuster attempt to prevent a spending bill from reaching the Senate floor was a losing tactic in the fight against Obamacare, and instead began to ramp up pressure on a handful of Democrats, saying the real battle will be an end-of-week vote specifically on whether to keep funding the health care law. Published September 24, 2013

**FILE** Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Nevada Democrat, speaks Sept. 19, 2013, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (Associated Press)

Reid: There is no filibuster

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Tuesday that despite an expected talk-a-thon by Sen. Ted Cruz and his allies in the fight to defund Obamacare, that does not mean the GOP is succeeding in filibustering. Published September 24, 2013