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Stephen Dinan

Stephen Dinan

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

Articles by Stephen Dinan

**FILE** Sen. Jeff Sessions, Alabama Republican

Welfare spending jumps 32% during Obama's presidency

Federal welfare spending has grown by 32 percent over the past four years, fattened by President Obama's stimulus spending and swelled by a growing number of Americans whose recession-depleted incomes now qualify them for public assistance, according to numbers released Thursday. Published October 18, 2012

President Obama speaks at a campaign event at Cornell College, Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2012, in Mt. Vernon, Iowa. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Day after debate, Obama, Romney keep on punching

Fresh off his more animated debate performance, President Obama joked Wednesday that he is still trying to get the hang of the face-to-face showdowns with Mitt Romney, even as the Republican nominee said Mr. Obama appears to be "running on fumes" in the run-up to Nov. 6. Published October 17, 2012

**FILE** Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, at the second presidential debate in Hempstead, N.Y. (Associated Press)

Not backing down, Romney clarifies debate remarks on illegals

Mitt Romney on Tuesday appeared to open a new avenue for illegal immigrants to get legal status, but his campaign quickly shut the door Wednesday, saying he still only supports a very narrow pathway that would require joining the U.S. military. Published October 17, 2012

Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama spar during the second presidential debate at Hofstra University, Tuesday, Oct. 16, 2012, in Hempstead, N.Y. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

Obama, Romney clash on jobs, energy and Libya at second debate

A combative President Obama, seeking to redeem himself from an earlier poor debate performance, went toe-to-toe with Mitt Romney Tuesday night at their second debate and accused the Republican nominee of fabricating attacks and distorting both of their records on everything from energy policy to terrorism. Published October 16, 2012

Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney speaks during the second presidential debate at Hofstra University. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

Romney opens door on immigration

Amid the attacks and countercharges in Tuesday's debate, Mitt Romney appeared to make some news in saying he will seek to create ways to grant a path to citizenship to younger illegal immigrants brought here as children. Published October 16, 2012

**FILE** Sen. Tom Coburn, Oklahoma Republican (Associated Press)

Coburn calls out Senate cohorts as biggest waste in government

The Senate's top waste-watcher says the federal government is bloated with extra spending — including in the halls of Congress itself, where he says senators and staffers are collecting salaries while failing to do very much work. Published October 15, 2012

**FILE** Former Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter (Associated Press)

Arlen Specter, former Pa. senator, dies at 82

Former longtime Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter, who as a Republican pushed two conservative justices onto the Supreme Court and then later switched to the Democratic Party and became a deciding vote for the health care law, died Sunday. Published October 14, 2012

**FILE** A statue of former Treasury Secretary Albert Gallatin stands outside the Treasury Building in Washington on Aug. 8, 2011. (Associated Press)

Final 2012 federal deficit tops $1 trillion — again

The federal government officially closed out the fiscal year with a $1.089 trillion deficit — the fourth straight trillion-dollar year in the red — according to the Treasury Department's final count, released Friday afternoon. Published October 12, 2012

Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney walks with Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, as he arrives in Richmond, Va., Friday, Oct. 12, 2012. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

Romney says Biden 'doubling down on denial' on Libya

Mitt Romney said Friday that Vice President Joseph R. Biden raised more questions than he answered in this week's debate when he denied he had been told about security warnings in Libya ahead of the terrorist assault that killed four Americans, including the ambassador. Published October 12, 2012

Vice President Joe Biden listens to Republican vice presidential nominee Rep. Paul Ryan, of Wisconsin, during the vice presidential debate at Centre College, Thursday, Oct. 11, 2012, in Danville, Ky. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

Biden muffs Obama's tax plans during debate

Vice President Joseph R. Biden on Thursday seemed to open the door to adjusting President Obama's tax increases to only apply to those making $1 million or more a year — a much higher threshold than the $250,000 level they had pushed previously. Published October 12, 2012

**FILE** President Obama stops for a photo with members of the Vox Harmonia Visual and Performing Arts Academy Salem High School during a Sept. 27, 2012, campaign event at Farm Bureau Live in Virginia Beach, Va. (Associated Press)

Democrats claim lead in battleground voter registration

Led by a surge in Hispanic voters, President Obama's campaign said Thursday that Democrats are leading the party registration fight in nearly every battleground state this fall as campaign officials try to combat disillusionment among Democrats after last week's presidential debate. Published October 11, 2012

Romney dogs Obama with response to Libya attack

Mitt Romney on Thursday elevated the Benghazi terrorist attack to the forefront of the presidential campaign, saying President Obama and his campaign are politicizing the issue rather than explaining why the administration botched the initial response. Published October 11, 2012

** FILE ** Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback. (Associated Press)

GOP governors ace fiscal exam; report praises executives elected in tea party wave

Republican governors elected in 2010's tea party wave have generally made good on pledges to cut taxes and limit spending, according to the latest fiscal report card released Tuesday by the Cato Institute think tank, which graded the states' executives on their boldness is reining in government expansion. Published October 9, 2012

**FILE** President Obama speaks Oct. 7, 2012, at the "30 Days to Victory" fundraising concert in Los Angeles. (Associated Press)

Round of polls 
shows tight race 
after Obama-Romney debate

Powered by his widely-acclaimed debate performance last week, Mitt Romney has closed a 9 percentage-point gap and is once again tied with President Obama in the latest The Washington Times/Zogby Poll conducted by Zogby Analytics, released Monday. Published October 8, 2012

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney and his wife, Ann, campaign at Tradition Town Square in Port St. Lucie, Fla., on Sunday, Oct. 7, 2012. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

Romney 
to slam 
Obama 
on warfare

Mitt Romney on Monday will accuse the Obama administration of fundamentally misunderstanding the threat of radical Islam, using a major foreign-policy speech at the Virginia Military Institute to say President Obama is rejecting six decades of bipartisan consensus by not flexing more U.S. muscle on the world stage. Published October 8, 2012

Feds end 2012 with $1.1 trillion deficit

The federal government notched a $1.1 trillion deficit in fiscal year 2012 — the fourth straight year over $1 trillion — according to a preliminary estimate that the Congressional Budget Office released Friday. Published October 5, 2012

Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney gets a hug from a patron as he campaigns with his wife Ann during an unscheduled stop at La Teresita, a Cuban restaurant, in Tampa, Fla., Friday, Oct. 5, 2012. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

Romney tries personal touch on campaign stump

Fresh off a debate performance he spent highlighting American stories, Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney on Friday peppered his campaign stump speech with those same kinds of personal anecdotes. Published October 5, 2012

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney boards his campaign plane at Weyers Cave-Shenandoah Valley Airport in Weyers Cave, Va., on Oct. 5, 2012. (Associated Press)

Romney: Jobs growth not enough to re-elect Obama

The jobs picture improved in September, but Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney said the fall in the nation's jobless rate still is not enough to justify giving President Obama another term in office. Published October 5, 2012