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Stephen Dinan

Stephen Dinan

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

Articles by Stephen Dinan

**FILE** President Obama walks offstage May 23, 2012, to greet supporters after speaking at a campaign fundraiser in Denver. (Associated Press)

Obama's pick for nuke chief is Yucca Mountain opponent

President Obama on Thursday announced he will nominate a Yucca Mountain nuclear waste site opponent to be chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, replacing the current embattled chairman. Published May 24, 2012

**FILE** Lifeguard Breanna Adams watches as children jump from the diving board at the Anacostia Pool and Recreation Center in Washington, D.C., on July 21, 2011. (Rod Lamkey Jr./The Washington Times)

Feds promise swimming pool rules are 'flexible'

The Justice Department promised Thursday to be "flexible" in enforcing new rules ordering public pools to pay for lifts or ramps for the disabled — backing away from what some pool operators had said was an invitation to a flood of lawsuits against small businesses. Published May 24, 2012

Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney speaks to reporters on a campaign charter flight between New York and Washington on Wednesday, May 23, 2012. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

Romney sees D.C. school vouchers as model for U.S.

Mitt Romney vowed Wednesday to expand Washington's school voucher program as part of a broader nationwide push for school choice, and he accused President Obama of failing to fulfill his own education promises from 2008 because he is too beholden to teachers unions. Published May 23, 2012

** FILE ** In this May 8, 2012 photo, Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney speaks in Lansing, Mich. Romney padded his lead in the race for convention delegates in Republican presidential primaries Tuesday in Arkansas and Kentucky as he inches closer to the nomination he's all but certain to win. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio, File)

Romney outpaces Obama in Ky., Ark. primaries

President Obama won 58 percent of the vote in Kentucky's Democratic primary on Tuesday but lost 42 percent of the vote to "uncommitted" — another worrisome sign for him as he seeks re-election. Published May 22, 2012

**FILE** Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Nevada Democrat, speaks to reporters at the Capitol following a political strategy meeting in Washington on May 22, 2012. (Associated Press)

Congress staring over edge of 'fiscal cliff'

For Congress, the outlines of the pending fiscal crisis are clear: Don't do a thing, and watch the economy slip into a double-dip recession early next year. Or cancel the looming tax increases and spending cuts, watch the deficit rise, and push the government ever closer to a European-style debt crisis. Published May 22, 2012

**FILE** Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Nevada Democrat (Associated Press)

Sequesters, tax increases would cause double-dip recession

The automatic spending cuts and tax increases slated to take effect at the end of this year would cut the federal deficit dramatically, but would send the country back into a short recession, according to the latest analysis from Congress's official scorekeepers. Published May 22, 2012

Jaczko

Embattled nuclear chief sets exit strategy

The embattled chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission said Monday he'll resign as soon as a successor can be found, succumbing to pressure from fellow commissioners who accused him of tyrannical behavior, and setting up what's expected to be a bruising battle over a replacement. Published May 21, 2012

U.S. Census Bureau Director Robert M. Groves (Associated Press)

Census surveys aren't down for the count

After the House voted this month to defund a major part of the U.S. Census Bureau, the agency is taking the threat very seriously, with its supporters in both business and government rallying to preserve the annual questionnaire. Published May 20, 2012

Holder

House GOP leaders order Holder to cooperate on gun-running probe

House Republican leaders on Friday sent a letter to Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. demanding he comply with the GOP's official investigation into Obama administration gun-running operation Fast & Furious, which allowed hundreds of guns to be sneaked across the border to Mexican cartels. Published May 18, 2012

GOP blocks debate on Afghanistan withdrawal

More than 10 years after Congress authorized the war in Afghanistan, American voters and many lawmakers said it's time for troops to come home in an orderly withdrawal — but Republicans denied them a chance to have that debate on the House floor this week. Published May 17, 2012

"Today's votes were not a serious effort to pass a budget. Both sides of the aisle are at fault. Americans watching this debate witnessed exactly what they've come to expect from Washington: Republicans blaming Democrats, Democrats blaming Republicans."
- Sen. Dean Heller, Nevada Republican

Democrat-led Senate votes down 4 GOP budgets for 2013

The Senate on Wednesday rejected every single budget being offered this year, leaving the chamber — and therefore the federal government — without a plan to address Medicare, Social Security and the other major entitlement programs that are driving deficits and debt. Published May 16, 2012

Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., who is president of the Senate, and three top officers of the chamber have been named in a lawsuit trying to overturn the Senate's filibuster rule. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

Dream Act students sue to stop Senate filibuster

Illegal immigrant students and members of the House sued the Senate this week to try to overturn the upper chamber's filibuster rule, arguing that the 60-vote supermajority requirement violates the Constitution and is blocking important legislation such as legalization for illegal immigrants. Published May 15, 2012

New York resident Melissa Garcia Velez from Colombia speaks during a rally in March in Union Square in New York. The rally was one of many around the country to focus attention on the issue of illegal immigration. A lawsuit filed Monday by illegal-immigrant students and some House Democrats challenges filibusters and would rewrite the way the Senate operates, if successful. (Associated Press)

Dream Act supporters target filibuster

Illegal-immigrant students and some House Democrats sued the Senate this week to try to overturn the upper chamber's filibuster rule, arguing that the 60-vote threshold applied to most major legislation violates the Constitution and is blocking important legislation, such as legalization for illegal immigrants. Published May 15, 2012

House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio speaks at the Peter G. Peterson Foundation's 2012 Fiscal Summit, Tuesday, May 15, 2012, in Washington. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

Boehner digs in for next battle on debt

House Speaker John A. Boehner on Tuesday set the stage for an end-of-year debt showdown, saying he will once again insist any increase in the federal borrowing limit be matched dollar-for-dollar with spending cuts elsewhere. Published May 15, 2012

**FILE** House Speaker John Boehner, Ohio Republican, takes questions May 10, 2012, during a news conference on Capitol Hill. (Associated Press)

Boehner sets up new debt-ceiling showdown

House Speaker John A. Boehner vowed Tuesday to draw "a line in the sand" by insisting the next federal debt-limit increase, due later this year, will have to be met with real spending cuts — setting up another showdown like last August's deficit brinkmanship. Published May 15, 2012

Rep. Ron Paul, Texas Republican, speaks at the University of California at Berkeley on Thursday, April 5, 2012. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

Paul aide: Don't look for a Romney endorsement

Ron Paul's campaign conceded Tuesday he won't win enough delegates to be Republicans' presidential nominee, but says he will continue to try to win supporters to influence the GOP's platform and rules at the August convention. Published May 15, 2012

**FILE** Republican presidential candidate and Texas Rep. Ron Paul speaks Feb. 11, 2012, to his supporters following his loss in the Maine caucus to Mitt Romney, in Portland, Maine. (Associated Press)

Ron Paul ends his hunt for votes from primaries

Rep. Ron Paul said Monday he will not compete in Republican primaries in any of the states that have not yet voted — essentially ending the 2012 primary season and leaving the path open for Mitt Romney to win the GOP presidential nomination. Published May 14, 2012

Gary Johnson

Current third-party candidates not on voters' menu

There's a substantial appetite among American voters for an option other than the two major parties in this year's elections — but there's little taste for any of the third-party or independent candidates currently competing, according to the latest poll by The Washington Times/JZ Analytics. Published May 14, 2012

President Obama is in a close race with his presumed Republican rival, according to the findings of a weekend Washington Times/JZ Analytics poll and other national polls. But there's more enthusiasm for Mr. Obama. (Associated Press)

Poll shows Obama's chief edge is enthusiasm factor

Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney and President Obama are statistically tied with 43.6 percent and 43.2 percent support, respectively, among likely voters surveyed in the first head-to-head matchup conducted for The Washington Times/JZ Analytics poll, which nonetheless found more enthusiasm for the president's campaign than for the GOP's challenger. Published May 13, 2012

"We need to ask ourselves whether [the American Community Survey] is worth $2.4 billion," said Rep. Daniel Webster, Florida Republican, who offered the amendment to eliminate it. (Associated Press)

House bill reins in Census Bureau, Justice

House Republicans voted this week to kill a major part of the census and to rein in the Obama administration's lawsuits against states over immigration laws, voter-identification laws and gay-marriage statutes - but gave a thumbs-up to Mr. Obama's battle with states that have medical marijuana laws. Published May 10, 2012