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Stephen Dinan

Stephen Dinan

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

Articles by Stephen Dinan

Immigration debate bogs down over how to vote on amendments

The immigration debate is getting off to a bad start with Republicans and Democrats already sparring over how to even vote on amendments — with Democrats insisting every vote achieve a 60-vote filibuster-style threshold in order to pass. Published June 12, 2013

**FILE** President Obama speaks in the Rose Garden at the White House in Washington on April 10, 2013. (Associated Press)

Obama's vow to cut federal websites in half is still a distant goal

It already has taken twice as long as President Obama ordered, and yet his administration is still only about halfway to meeting his June 2011 vow to cut the number of federal websites in half within a year — one of the marquee pledges in his Campaign to Cut Waste. Published June 12, 2013

The Senate's bipartisan "Gang of Eight" holds a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington on Thursday, April 18, 2013. In front from left to right are Sen. Marco Rubio, Florida Republican; Sen. Charles E. Schumer, New York Democrat; Sen. Lindsey Graham, South Carolina Republican; and Sen. John McCain, Arizona Republican. The legislation would dramatically remake the U.S. immigration system by ushering in new visa programs for low- and high-skilled workers, requiring a tough new focus on border security, instituting a new requirement for all employers to check the legal status of their workers, and installing a path to citizenship for 11 million immigrants in the country illegally. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Poison pills enter bruising Senate battle over immigration reform

Senators headed off a filibuster Tuesday and officially brought the immigration reform bill to the chamber floor, marking the first time since 2007 that the full, thorny issue has been back in front of Congress — and with lawmakers anticipating plenty of hurdles ahead. Published June 11, 2013

**FILE** Sen. Patrick J. Leahy, Vermont Democrat, chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee. (Associated Press)

Gay-rights amendment could complicate immigration debate

Sen. Patrick J. Leahy introduced an amendment to the immigration bill Tuesday that would extend immigration benefits to gay partners of American citizens, potentially injecting that contentious issue into the middle of the immigration debate. Published June 11, 2013

**FILE** Police in Chandler, Ariz., respond to a report of copper theft from a shopping plaza roof on Jan. 18, 2012. (Associated Press)

Senate moving to make copper theft a federal crime

The Senate is moving to make metal theft a federal crime, with the Judiciary Committee poised to take action later this week on a bill that would impose a 10-year prison sentence on anyone caught stealing metal from telephone or cell towers, highway equipment or other critical infrastructure. Published June 11, 2013

** FILE ** Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Kentucky Republican, speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington on Tuesday, May 21, 2013, following a Republican policy luncheon. (Associated Press)

McConnell: Immigration bill has 'serious flaws'

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said Tuesday that the immigration bill making its way to the chamber floor later in the day has "serious flaws" that must be fixed before the legislation can pass. Published June 11, 2013

**FILE** Sen. Chuck Grassley, Iowa Republican, speaks during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on immigrant women and immigration reform on Capitol Hill in Washington on March 18, 2013. (Associated Press)

Lessons of 1986 amnesty loom in immigration debate

As Congress takes up immigration reform, the last major amnesty in 1986 hangs heavily over the debate — a lesson for both sides in the perils of failing on border and employment security, even as they move for another round of legalization. Published June 10, 2013

N.M. moves to halt first U.S. horse slaughterhouse

New Mexico's attorney general has ruled that horse meat is an adulterated product, which animal rights advocates said should halt a slaughterhouse that had applied to become the first in the U.S. to resume horse slaughter for human consumption. Published June 10, 2013

U.S. Border Patrol agents patrol the border fence in Naco, Ariz., on Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2012, near where Agent Nicholas Ivie was shot and killed and one other was shot and injured. (Associated Press)

Border Patrol union quiet on immigration bill debate

They bill themselves as "the real border security experts," but the National Border Patrol Council — the union representing U.S. Border Patrol agents — has been uniquely silent as Congress prepares to debate immigration. Published June 10, 2013

**FILE** Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Nevada Democrat, speaks with reporters following a Democratic strategy session at the Capitol in Washington on April 9, 2013. (Associated Press)

Sen. Harry Reid refuses to bend on core of 'Gang of Eight' immigration bill

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid ruled out any major changes to the immigration bill he will bring to the chamber floor this week, saying in an interview that aired Sunday that he will battle to prevent anyone from altering the core of the bipartisan deal reached by the so-called Gang of Eight. Published June 7, 2013

**FILE** Men recently deported from Arizona wait in line to be registered with Mexican authorities at the border in Nogales, Mexico, on April 28, 2010. (Associated Press)

GOP votes to lift deportation limits; signals trouble for broader reform bill

The immigration fight wasn't supposed to begin until next week but it got a head start Thursday when House Republicans voted to overturn President Obama's policies and start deporting rank-and-file illegal immigrants again — an early signal that a broad legalization bill will have trouble passing Congress this year. Published June 6, 2013

**FILE** Men recently deported from Arizona wait in line to be registered with Mexican authorities at the border in Nogales, Mexico, on April 28, 2010. (Associated Press)

House rebukes Obama, challenges deportation policy

The House voted Thursday to overturn all of President Obama's non-deportation policies, in a vote freighted with meaning as Congress warily eyes a broader immigration debate later over the next few months. Published June 6, 2013

Sen. Marco Rubio flexible on immigration bill; House negotiators finishing work

Sen. Marco Rubio said Wednesday that he'd be all right with breaking up the immigration bill into smaller pieces, but said the most important part of this month's debate will be how best to improve security so voters believe government is finally serious about controlling the border and weeding out illegal immigrants. Published June 6, 2013

**FILE** Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Nevada Republican, speaks with reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington on June 4, 2013, following a Democratic strategy session. (Associated Press)

Immigration bill heads to Senate floor

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid on Thursday officially began the process of bringing the immigration bill to the Senate floor, setting up the first major test vote for next Monday. Published June 6, 2013

**FILE** Sen. Orrin G. Hatch, Utah Republican (Associated Press)

Senate immigration bill could double guest workers

The Senate immigration bill could nearly double the number of guest workers allowed into the U.S., according to a new analysis the Center for Immigration Studies is releasing Wednesday that says the jump is four times the increase of the last immigration bill in 2007. Published June 5, 2013


Volunteers pass through the first full body scanner, which uses backscatter technology, at O'Hare International Airport in Chicago on March 10, 2010. Those airport scanners with their all-too revealing body images will soon be going away. The Transportation Security Administration says the X-ray scanners will be gone by June 2013 because the company that makes them can't fix the privacy issues. (Associated Press)

TSA screenings lack objectivity, probe finds

The TSA's program to let agents pick out people for closer screening based on the agents' observation fails to meet basic standards of training of objectivity, according to a report released Wednesday by the agency's auditor. Published June 5, 2013

President Obama speaks June 4, 2013, in the Rose Garden of the White House while announcing the nominations of (from left) Robert Wilkins, Cornelia Pillard and Patricia Ann Millet to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. (Associated Press)

Obama challenges Senate with judicial picks

A combative President Obama declared open warfare Tuesday on Senate Republicans over judicial nominations, naming three candidates to the influential D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals and blasting GOP lawmakers for delaying and blocking previous nominees. Published June 4, 2013

Rep. Richard Neal, D-Mass., asks a question during a House Ways and Means Committee hearing of organizations that say they were unfairly targeted by the Internal Revenue Service while seeking tax-exempt status, in Washington, on Tuesday, June 4, 2013. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

IRS spent $4.1M on California junket

Already reeling after admitting it unfairly targeted conservatives, the IRS suffered a new setback Tuesday when its internal auditor released a report showing the agency spent $4.1 million on a lavish conference in California in 2010, including two free drinks for every attendee, and upgrades to suites for more than 100 employees. Published June 4, 2013