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Stephen Dinan

Stephen Dinan

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

Articles by Stephen Dinan

Democratic state Senate candidate John Lehman gives a high-five to a young supporter as he arrives for an election-night party at the Racine Labor Center in Racine, Wis., on Tuesday, June 5, 2012. (AP Photo/Scott Anderson, Journal Times)

Dems win control of Wisconsin Senate

Republican Gov. Scott Walker won his recall election, but he may have a tougher time getting things through the Wisconsin Legislature after Democrats appear to have successfully recalled a Republican state senator, which would flip the balance of power in the state. Published June 6, 2012

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Kentucky Republican (AP Photo)

GOP proposes one-year delay on new tax code

Congressional Republicans floated a deal Wednesday that would extend the Bush-era tax cuts through the end of 2013, which they said would give Congress and whoever occupies the White House next year a chance to work on a total overhaul of the tax code. Published June 6, 2012

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Kentucky Republican (AP Photo)

GOP floats one-year extension of tax cuts

Congressional Republicans on Wednesday floated the idea of a one-year extension of all of the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts, saying it will give the economy certainty and give Capitol Hill breathing space to take up a broader reform of the tax code next year. Published June 6, 2012

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker waves during his victory party on Tuesday, June 5, 2012, in Waukesha, Wis., after defeating Democratic challenger Tom Barrett in a special recall election. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)

Walker, GOP win big in Wis. recall races

Wisconsin gave Gov. Scott Walker a renewed lease Tuesday, voting to keep the Republican in office in a recall election that amounted to an embrace of his union-busting, government-trimming agenda in this traditionally Democratic-leaning state. Published June 5, 2012

**FILE** A U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer walks through a line of cars at a crossing from Canada near Blaine, Wash., on July 21, 2009. (Associated Press)

Forest Service hit for Border Patrol call

A federal department ruled last week that the Forest Service violated a Spanish-speaking woman's civil rights by calling the Border Patrol to help translate during a routine stop, saying it was "humiliating" to Hispanics and an illicit backdoor way to capture more illegal immigrants. Published June 4, 2012

"[Republicans] don't want to be drawn into a conversation on this issue and they're hoping the vote gets drowned out." Sen. Charles E. Schumer, New York Democrat.

Women wooed with Hill vote on pay bias

The battle for women's votes will play out in stark terms on the floor of the Senate this week when Democrats push a bill to make it easier for women to sue for claims of sex discrimination in pay — and see the bill defeated by a GOP-led filibuster. Published June 4, 2012

** FILE ** Rep. Richard Nugent, Florida Republican, center, accompanied by Rep. Austin Scott, Georgia Republican, right, and Rep. Joe Wilson, South Carolina Republican, speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Jan., 24, 2012, to discuss the budget. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Congressional fight gives peek at intelligence spending

Most of the recent battles over government spending have been dramatic, bloody and excruciatingly fought in public, but disputes over the approximately $80 billion budgeted every year for the intelligence community has generally been hidden - until now. Published May 31, 2012

"We just can't change the rules if we don't like the results," said Rep. Candice S. Miller, Michigan Republican. (Associated Press)

House orders solid base line on border

When the Obama administration scrapped the old definition for measuring border security two years ago, it left the government without any way of measuring how much of the U.S.-Mexico border is under operational control. Published May 30, 2012

Rep. David Rivera, Florida Republican, has introduced a bill to help good students who were brought to the U.S. as children by illegal immigrants and, through no fault of their own, could be deported. (Associated Press)

Republican offers Dream option for illegals

Wading directly into the thorny immigration debate, a key House Republican on Wednesday introduced the GOP's first version of the Dream Act in this Congress in a bill that would give a select group of high-achieving illegal immigrants the chance to become U.S. citizens. Published May 30, 2012

**FILE** Undocumented college student Jorge Herrera, 18, (center) of Carson, Calif., rallies with students and Dream Act supporters in Los Angeles on Dec. 25, 2010. The Dream Act would have given provisional legal status to illegal immigrants brought to the country as children. (Associated Press)

Republicans introduce their own version of Dream Act

Rep. David Rivera on Wednesday introduced the first Republican version of the Dream Act in this Congress which would give a select group of high-achieving illegal immigrant students the chance to stay and study in the U.S. Published May 30, 2012

Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney speaks May 29, 2012, during a campaign event at the Somers Furniture warehouse in Las Vegas. (Associated Press)

Equal pay bill puts Romney on the line on women

Mitt Romney survived an April skirmish over women's pay, but he and fellow Republicans are about to face a tougher test as the Senate takes up the Paycheck Fairness Act — the next big fight in pay equality between the sexes. Published May 29, 2012

President Barack Obama, right, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, center, and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey, stand during the singing of the National Anthem at the Memorial Day Observance at the Memorial Amphitheater at Arlington National Cemetery, Monday, May 28, 2012. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

Obama honors veterans, vows end to Afghan war

President Obama on Monday officially kicked off a years-long commemoration of the Vietnam War, saying the country should use the 50th anniversary of the conflict's start as a chance to apologize for poor treatment of returning veterans, which he called "one of the most painful chapters" in U.S. history. Published May 28, 2012

Kentucky lawyer Kent Masterson Brown spent years researching and writing a book about Lt. Alonzo Cushing. (Kent Masterson Brown)

Long battle to get Civil War officer Medal of Honor in final charge

When the House this month voted to waive the time constraints on issuing the Medal of Honor for Lt. Alonzo Cushing, it brought the artillery officer and hero of the Union stand at Pickett's Charge one step closer to the military's highest honor — though in the eyes of his supporters, it's 149 years late. Published May 27, 2012

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

Senate defeats bills to reduce student loan rates

The Senate on Thursday blocked President Obama's student loan interest-rate reduction plan and also shot down a GOP proposal, leaving the chamber without a solution and little more than a month to go before rates are scheduled to double. Published May 24, 2012

**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** 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

** 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