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Stephen Dinan

Stephen Dinan

Stephen Dinan can be reached at [email protected].

Articles by Stephen Dinan

U.S. Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents take a person into custody during an immigration sweep in Ontario, California. (Associated Press) ** FILE **

DHS processing illegal immigrants at dangerous facility: audit

The Homeland Security Department has been keeping illegal immigrants detained in a dangerous California building for years despite knowing it to be a deadly fire hazard since 2007, the department's inspector general said Friday in a memo that said it had ordered the facility shut down immediately. Published December 12, 2014

The Capitol building in Washington, D.C. (Associated Press) ** FILE **

$1 trillion spending bill barely hangs on in first test vote

The $1.1 trillion spending bill narrowly survived its first test Thursday when the House approved rules for debate, bringing the bill to the floor and setting up an afternoon showdown that will expose just how deep the divisions run within the Democratic Party. Published December 11, 2014

"Without a threat of a government shutdown, this sets up a direct challenge to the president's unilateral actions on immigration when we have new majorities in both chambers of Congress," House Speaker John A. Boehner of Ohio told reporters after meeting in a closed-door session with his Republican caucus on Capitol Hill. Lawmakers face a midnight deadline to pass a budget. (Associated Press photographs)

Leadership courts centrist support for $1.1T spending bill as shutdown looms

Congressional leaders were trying to hold the center in the run-up to Thursday's government shutdown deadline, with Senate Democrats and House Republicans pleading for their troops to back a $1.1 trillion spending bill that had those on both extremes of the ideological spectrum fuming. Published December 10, 2014

Nayleth Martinez from Honduras, carries a sign that reads in Spanish, "We need immigration reform now." (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

Obama amnesty makes future illegals deportation unlikely

The man who will oversee President Obama's new temporary amnesty said Tuesday that part of the reason for the program was to get the illegal immigrants working on the books, making it economically impossible for them ever to be deported by a future president. Published December 10, 2014

Jennifer Deasy shoots a pistol at the target range at Niagara Gun Range in North Tonawanda, N.Y., Thursday June 26, 2008. Americans can keep guns at home for self-defense, the Supreme Court ruled Thursday in the justices' first-ever pronouncement on the meaning of gun rights under the Second Amendment. (AP Photo/David Duprey)

Support for gun rights at highest point in two decades

Support for gun rights is higher than it's been in decades, according to the latest data from the Pew Research Center that signals a stunning turnaround in how Americans feel about the issue just two years after the Newtown school shooting. Published December 10, 2014

In front of a sign that says "Gracias," meaning thank you in Spanish, President Barack Obama receives a hug from the owners of "La Hacienda" restaurant, Lilia Yepez, left, and Carlos Yepez, before ordering food to go from the Mexican restaurant in Nashville, Tenn., Tuesday, Dec. 9, 2014. Earlier in the afternoon in Nashville the president spoke about his executive actions on immigration. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

Obama's amnesty earns Hispanics' approval, support

Even as his support stagnates among others, President Obama saw a huge leap — 12 percentage points — in his approval rating among Hispanics after he announced his deportation amnesty last month, according to Gallup. Published December 10, 2014

House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio, joined at left by House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy of Calif., wraps up a meeting with reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Dec. 10, 2014, following a House GOP caucus meeting.  With time running short before Congress adjourns, Republicans and Democrats agreed Tuesday on a $1.1 trillion spending bill to avoid a government shutdown and delay a politically-charged struggle over President Barack Obama's new immigration policy until the new year. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

GOP scrambles for votes as conservatives, liberals balk at $1.1T spending bill

The IRS takes a $300 million cut and the EPA's staffing is reduced to levels not seen since the 1980s under the $1.1 trillion spending bill written by congressional negotiators, and which GOP leaders are pleading with their members to support ahead of key showdown votes this week. Published December 10, 2014

"This short-term funding resolution will keep the lights on in government and maintain current operations for a few days so Congress can complete and pass an agreement," said Rep. Harold Rogers, Kentucky Republican and chairman of the House Appropriations Committee. (Associated Press)

Congress reaches deal on 1,600-page, $1.1 trillion spending bill

Congressional negotiators released the massive 1,600-page, $1.1 trillion spending bill late Tuesday and begged colleagues to vote for it as lawmakers rush to finish business and flee Washington before Christmas. The bill works out to nearly $700 million per page in spending, and covers almost all of the government's basic operations for the rest of the fiscal year, which lasts through September. Published December 9, 2014

Senate report accuses CIA of engaging in torture, but agency fights back

After five years of investigations, 6.3 million pages of documents and one constitutional crisis over CIA snooping on Senate computers, Senate Democrats' "torture report" revealed striking new details of the extent of interrogation techniques used by the CIA, but even the 525-page summary of a 6,700-page report, complete with 38,000 footnotes, was unlikely to be the last word. Published December 9, 2014

President who vowed to end war, now seeks sweeping power to expand it

Secretary of State John F. Kerry told Congress Tuesday that President Obama wants expansive war powers to pursue the Islamic State terrorists wherever and however he deems necessary, stunning lawmakers by requesting a war authorization that would even allow the Pentagon to commit American combat troops to the fight. Published December 9, 2014

Sen. John McCain, Arizona Republican, said it was necessary to send a signal to the unaccompanied minors preparing for another run at the U.S.-Mexico border this year that they will be sent back rather than released into the U.S., as all of the children from Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador were last year. (Associated Press)

McCain defends torture report: Americans must learn 'what was done in their name'

Many Republicans are furious at Tuesday's release of the so-called "torture report," but Sen. John McCain, who himself spent years confined as a prisoner of war in Vietnam, defended the exhaustive look at the CIA's behavior post-Sept. 11, saying Americans must "know what was done in their name." Published December 9, 2014

Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper (Associated Press)

Obama renews NSA snooping for 90 more days

President Obama has renewed the NSA's phone-snooping program for another three months, with the administration saying Monday that it's too important to let it expire right now, defying members of Congress who said it was time to ax the controversial program. Published December 8, 2014

The states challenging President Obama's deportation amnesty have already won the first round in court after the case landed in the lap of Judge Andrew S. Hanen, a Bush appointee who issued a scorching rebuke to the Department of Homeland Security last year, accusing it of refusing to follow border security laws. (Associated Press)

FLASHBACK: Bush-appointee judge scorched Homeland Security before eviscerating amnesty

The states challenging President Obama's deportation amnesty have already won the first round in court after the case landed in the lap of Judge Andrew S. Hanen, a Bush appointee who issued a scorching rebuke to the Department of Homeland Security last year, accusing it of refusing to follow border security laws. Published December 7, 2014

President Barack Obama speaks from behind protective glass during the National Christmas Tree lighting ceremony at the Ellipse near the White House in Washington, Thursday, Dec. 4, 2014. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Obama faces deadline on halting NSA snooping

President Obama has a Friday deadline to decide whether to halt his NSA phone-snooping program or to keep it going, and after Congress failed to stop it last month some lawmakers now say the White House should pull the plug on its own. Published December 5, 2014