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Stephen Dinan

Stephen Dinan

Stephen Dinan can be reached at [email protected].

Articles by Stephen Dinan

FILE - In this Feb. 6, 2014 file photo, House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington. It was once the backbone of the House Republican majority _ the steadfast stand that brought President Barack Obama to the negotiating table and yielded more than $2 trillion in deficit reduction. On Tuesday, Feb. 11, it abruptly vanished, the victim of Republican disunity and a president determined not to bargain again.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

Tea party group settles on challenger to Boehner

After conducting a search and straw poll, a national tea party group has settled on a Republican primary challenger to House Speaker John A. Boehner, picking high school teacher J.D. Winteregg to carry the tea party banner in the intraparty battle. Published February 25, 2014

FILE - This Feb. 4, 2014 file photo shows Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky. during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington. The Supreme Court appeared divided on Monday over the sole Obama administration program already in place to limit power plant and factory emissions of gases blamed for global warming. The presence of McConnell in the courtroom underscored the political stakes in President Barack Obama’s high-profile effort to deal with global warming _ a policy Obama is pursuing after failing to persuade Congress to enact climate change legislation. McConnell is facing a tough re-election fight in which he refers often to the administration’s assault on the coal industry in Kentucky and elsewhere.  (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

Supreme Court weighs EPA powers on clean air

A divided Supreme Court grappled Monday with just how much power Congress intended to give the EPA in the Clean Air Act, in a case that could determine how much of an end run President Obama can do around Capitol Hill as he seeks to impose his own solutions to climate change. Published February 24, 2014

**FILE** President and Chief Executive Officer of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Thomas J. Donohue, left, listens as AFL-CIO President Richard L. Trumka, right, testifies before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee hearing on transportation infrastructure Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2014. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh) **FILE**

U.S. Chamber of Commerce pleads for increased immigration

Polls show most Americans prefer to see legal immigration kept steady or reduced, rather than increased, believing more immigration will lead to competition for jobs. But Chamber President Thomas J. Donohue said Americans shouldn't be worried. Published February 24, 2014

FILE - In this Oct. 4, 2013 file photo, Rep. John Dingell, D-Mich. is seen on Capitol Hill in Washington. According to AP source: Dingell, the longest-serving member of Congress, to retire.  (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

Dingell leaving House after record career

Rep. John D. Dingell, the longest-serving congressman in history, announced Monday he’s so fed up with Washington politics that he’s retiring, ending a storied career that’s lasted nearly six decades. Published February 24, 2014

President Obama reacts during an Oval Office meeting in this file photo. (White House photo/Pete Souza) ** FILE **

Obama's stimulus beginning to drag economy down

President Obama's stimulus may have boosted the economy when it passed in 2009, but it's now beginning to take a toll and will soon begin to leave the economy worse off than if it had never passed, according to a new report from the Congressional Budget Office. Published February 21, 2014

**FILE** Illegal immigrants file into a U.S. Border Patrol facility in Tucson, Ariz. (Associated Press)

Americans want legal immigration cut in half, poll finds

Americans want to see illegal immigrant young adults given legal status, but they are far less forgiving to most others, and want to see a huge reduction in legal immigration as well, according to a new poll released last week by a group that wants to see an immigration crackdown. Published February 21, 2014

Deport Bieber petition is second-highest ever on White House website

Deporting Justin Bieber has become the second most popular petition in the three-year history of President Obama's online petition program, tapping a depth of anger at the Canadian pop singer — and leaving the White House to ponder how to respond. Published February 20, 2014

** FILE ** President Barack Obama has lunch with members of the congressional leadership in the Oval Office Private Dining Room, May 16, 2012. The president served hoagies from Taylor Gourmet, which he purchased after a small business roundtable earlier in the day. Seated, clockwise from the president, are: Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, and House Speaker John Boehner.(Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Money for nothing: Feds in D.C. closed 25% of the time

Between snow days, official holidays and the government shutdown, federal employees have worked a normal business day less than 75 percent of the time since Oct. 1, marking a startlingly chaotic beginning to the fiscal year. Published February 18, 2014

** FILE ** In this Feb. 6, 2014, file photo, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., speaks on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

Minimum wage hike would kill a half-million jobs: CBO

Raising the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour will cost the U.S. economy a half-million jobs by 2016 but will substantially boost wages for most low-income workers, according to a Congressional Budget Office report released Tuesday that adds a significant hurdle to Democrats' push for an increase. Published February 18, 2014

A demonstrator is arrested by U.S. Capitol Police officers on Capitol Hill during a immigration rally in Washington, on Tuesday, Oct. 8, 2013, seeking to push Republicans to hold a vote on a stalled immigration reform bill. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

Increasing anti-deportation protests show down side of immigration issue for Democrats

Immigrant rights activists, including some self-identified illegal immigrants, were arrested outside the White House on Monday as part of a protest against President Obama's deportation policies, signaling that even as Republicans take blame for halting legalization legislation, Democrats face political peril, too. Published February 17, 2014

In this Dec. 5, 2013, file photo, marijuana matures at the Medicine Man dispensary and grow operation in northeast Denver. (AP Photo/Ed Andrieski, file)

Banks allowed to do business with legal marijuana dealers

Banks can do business with marijuana sellers in states where use has been legalized either for recreational or medicinal purposes, under a new policy the Obama administration announced Friday. Published February 16, 2014

**FILE** State Field State Park Director Clay Phillips talks with Jared Blumenfeld, regional administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, during a tour of the park just north of the border with Mexico Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2011, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

EPA's use of secret email addresses was widespread: report

Republicans on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee said their findings call into question the work of the EPA's inspector general, who in September issued a report clearing the EPA of wrongdoing in the email scandal. Published February 13, 2014

FILE - In this Dec. 5, 2013 file photo House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer of Md. speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington. Congress returns to work on Jan. 6, 2014, with election-year politics certain to shape an already limited agenda. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

Democrats seek to force votes on minimum wage, immigration

House Democrats said Thursday they’ll soon launch an official petition drive to try to force the Republican majority to vote on Democrats’ immigration bill — after they try to force a vote on a minimum-wage increase, another top party priority. Published February 13, 2014

Rep. Norman "Doc" Hastings, R-Wash. discusses a new report that proposes alterations to the 40-year-old Endangered Species Act, Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2014, during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington. Hastings led the Endangered Species Act Congressional Working Group, a panel of House Republicans who want the law to be administered by the states to balance wildlife protection with economic development. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Rep. Doc Hastings to retire after 10 terms in House

He's the latest senior lawmaker from either party to announce a retirement, as House members elected as far back as the Watergate era have decided they've had enough of Washington. Published February 13, 2014

"This bill is a step forward but it doesn't go as far as it should," said Sen. Bernard Sanders, Vermont independent, noting that benefits cuts have been erased for current veterans. He's also written a bill to boost spending for future veterans. (associated press)

Congress reverses military pension cuts

Congress congratulated itself this week after voting to restore full cost-of-living increases for military retirement benefits — but the bipartisan unity showed just how difficult it will be to tackle the major spending challenges that lie ahead. Published February 12, 2014