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Stephen Dinan

Stephen Dinan

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Articles by Stephen Dinan

Kristine Svinicki's term at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission expires in June.

McConnell, Reid spar on status of nuclear appointee

A simmering proxy fight between the top Republican and Democrat in the Senate spilled onto the chamber floor Wednesday when Minority Leader Mitch McConnell accused opponents of stonewalling a female appointee to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission because she blew the whistle on bullying by the commission's male chairman, a longtime Democratic staffer. Published April 18, 2012

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Kentucky Republican (Associated Press)

Obama's recess actions spur Republicans to join lawsuit

Escalating a simmering constitutional feud, Senate Republicans on Tuesday said they're joining a lawsuit against President Obama's January recess appointments, which were made even as Senate Republicans said they were still in session. Published April 17, 2012

Rep. Don Young, Alaska Republican, stood up for wounded veterans who killed polar bears in Canada but have been unable to bring carcasses into the U.S. (Associated Press)

Hunters win in vote about dead polar bears

House Republicans on Tuesday rode to the rescue of 41 hunters who shot polar bears in Canada at least four years ago but have been unable to bring their trophies back into the U.S. because the bears were subsequently declared an endangered species. Published April 17, 2012

"I know this is sort of geeky stuff, but the hard reality is that the amount of time it takes to put together these plans is really daunting. This takes weeks and weeks and months and months of effort, and that's why I think it's important to begin."
- Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad,  North Dakota Democrat

Democrats punt on Senate budget bill for third year

In a stunning backtrack that virtually guarantees Congress for the third year will be unable to produce a budget, Senate Democrats' top budget writer Tuesday canceled this week's expected votes on a 2013 fiscal blueprint. Published April 17, 2012

"To me, economic history proves that lower capital gains taxes grow our economy and higher capital gains taxes don't increase revenues." - Sen. Joe Lieberman, a Connecticut independent who usually sides with Democrats, missed the vote but said he would have opposed the tax.

Obama loses vote on 'Buffett,' gains tool

Republicans on Monday banded together in the Senate to block President Obama's "Buffett rule" tax, halting one of his chief legislative goals but leaving him with what the White House believes is a potent political weapon heading into November's elections. Published April 16, 2012

President Obama speaks about the so-called "Buffett Rule" on April 11, 2012, at the White House. (Associated Press)

Obama's push for Buffett millionaires' tax falls short

Republicans on Monday banded together in the Senate to block President Obama's "Buffett Rule" tax, halting one of his chief legislative goals but leaving him with what the White House believes is a potent political weapon heading into November's elections. Published April 16, 2012

Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney speaks at the National Rifle Association convention in St. Louis, Friday, April 13, 2012. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

Romney team ducks women's pay discrimination bill

Mitt Romney's campaign stumbled last week when it couldn't immediately say whether he supports a 2009 law that grants women more chances to sue over pay discrimination — and his staff still cannot say whether he would sign the follow-up legislation, the Paycheck Fairness Act, which is currently pending in Congress. Published April 15, 2012

**FILE** Demonstrators outside the White House march in November with a replica of a pipeline during a protest of the planned Keystone XL pipeline that would bring tar sands oil from Canada to Texas. (Associated Press)

House GOP to tie oil pipeline to highway bill

Seeking to a stronger negotiating position, House Republicans said Friday they will demand any eventual long-term federal highway funding bill also include approval of the massive Canada-to-Texas Keystone XL pipeline project. Published April 13, 2012

**FILE** Cheri White Owl, founder of Horse Feathers Equine Rescue, is pictured with one of the 33 horses for which she cares in Guthrie, Okla., on Nov. 29, 2011. Ms. White Owl said she's seen more horse neglect during the recession, which coincided with the end of horse slaughtering in the U.S. (Associated Press)

New Mexico firm applies for first horse meat slaughterhouse

A New Mexico slaughterhouse has petitioned the federal government to become the first business to offer horses for slaughter since an effective ban on the practice ended last year, according to state officials and animal welfare groups. Published April 13, 2012

White House press secretary Jay Carney speaks during his daily news briefing at the White House in Washington on Thursday, April 12, 2012. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Romney tags Obama for N. Korean defiance

The White House late Thursday criticized North Korea's failed missile launch, saying it jeopardizes the region's security — but President Obama's likely Republican opponent in the election said the current administration is to blame for the situation getting this far. Published April 12, 2012

Court buries tax-shelter deal on 'sham' cemeteries

A federal court on Thursday officially barred a Northern Virginia man from promoting tax shelters - the final chapter in a case federal investigators said involved selling fraudulent shares in "sham" cemeteries to help customers claim tax deductions from investment losses or charitable donations. Published April 12, 2012

Mitt Romney argues in Hartford, Conn., on Wednesday that he is the better candidate for women. "The real war on women is being waged by the president's failed economic policies," he said. President Obama won 56 percent of the female vote in 2008. (Associated Press)

Romney's wooing of female vote hits early snag

With the general election campaign unofficially under way, Mitt Romney's effort to win back female voters got off to a rocky start Wednesday when his campaign was stumped temporarily over whether he supports the 3-year-old Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. Published April 11, 2012

Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, surrounded by his family, announces on Tuesday, April 10, 2012, in Gettysburg, Pa., that he is suspending his GOP presidential campaign. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

Santorum suspends campaign for GOP presidential nomination

Former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania suspended his presidential campaign Tuesday, removing the final major hurdle for Mitt Romney to win the Republican nomination and marking the unofficial beginning of the general election battle with President Obama. Published April 10, 2012

Rick Santorum turns to his wife, Karen, on Tuesday after announcing in Gettysburg, Pa., that he is suspending his run for president. Front-runner Mitt Romney said in Delaware that he will now start seriously pondering a list of vice-presidential prospects. (Associated Press)

Santorum's exit shifts GOP race

Former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania put his presidential campaign on ice Tuesday, removing the final major hurdle for Mitt Romney to win the Republican nomination and turn his full attention to a general-election bid against President Obama. Published April 10, 2012

Sen. Marco Rubio

Eagerness seen as a vice in presidential veepstakes

While Mitt Romney finally looks to have the Republican nomination within his grasp, the jockeying among the wannabes for the No. 2 spot on the GOP ticket is only now ramping up. Published April 8, 2012

Congressional Budget Office Director Douglas W. Elmendorf (Associated Press)

Government records 40th straight deficit month in March

The federal government ran a $777 billion deficit for the first six months of fiscal year 2012, the Congressional Budget Office estimated on Friday, including a $196 billion hole in March, marking the 40th straight month of deficits. Published April 6, 2012

GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney takes his turn speaking to the American Society of News Editors on Wednesday, a day after President Obama told his side of the story. (Associated Press)

Romney tells press to uncover Obama's secrets

Mitt Romney urged the country's news editors on Wednesday to delve more deeply into what he said were President Obama's secret second-term plans, telling them they have a duty to "do the seeking" to expose what the White House has in store. Published April 4, 2012

**FILE** Rep. Doc Hastings, Washington Republican (Associated Press)

House subpoenas Obama administration on Gulf oil drilling

A House committee issued subpoenas Tuesday demanding the Obama administration turn over documents Republicans say will show the backroom negotiations that led to President Obama's Gulf of Mexico drilling moratorium in 2010. Published April 3, 2012