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Stephen Dinan

Stephen Dinan

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Articles by Stephen Dinan

**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

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) ** FILE **

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

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

**FILE** Sen. Marco Rubio, Florida Republican (Associated Press)

Sen. Marco Rubio: Immigration bill does not have votes to pass

Sen. Marco Rubio said Tuesday that there aren't 60 votes to pass the immigration bill he wrote and that the Senate will have to embrace even stiffer enforcement in order to win voters' confidence and sway lawmakers reluctant to repeat the mistakes of the 1986 amnesty. Published June 4, 2013

Danny Werfel (left), the acting commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service, and J. Russell George, Treasury Inspector General, appear before the House Appropriations Oversight Committee on the IRS in Washington on June 3, 2013. (Andrew S Geraci/The Washington Times)

IRS acting chief Danny Werfel vows to fix 'trust' in agency

The new Internal Revenue Service chief said Monday that his agency broke trust with the American people, and he vowed a speedy investigation to expose who approved the program that led to conservative groups being subjected to unwarranted questions while finding out if any other offices have engaged in similar political targeting. Published June 3, 2013

** FILE ** This photo April 17, 2012, file photo shows Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Lisa Jackson during an interview with The Associated Press at EPA Headquarters in Washington. Jackson, The Obama administration's chief environmental watchdog, is stepping down after a nearly four-year tenure marked by high-profile brawls over global warming pollution, the Keystone XL oil pipeline, new controls on coal-fired plants and several other hot-button issues that affect the nation's economy and people's health. (AP Photo/Kevin Wolf, File)

Newly released emails show EPA director's extensive use of fictional alter ego

Richard Windsor never existed at the EPA, but the agency awarded the fictional staffer’s email account certificates proving he had mastered all of the agency’s technology training — including declaring him a “scholar of ethical behavior,” according to documents disclosed late last week. Published June 2, 2013

Rep. Darrell E. Issa said uneven scrutiny by the IRS was "a problem that was coordinated in all likelihood right out of Washington headquarters." (Associated Press photographs)

IRS audits moderate group with GOP ties; Issa says scrutiny known in D.C.

Two weeks before news broke that the IRS had targeted conservative groups for special scrutiny of their tax-exempt applications, a moderate GOP organization received word it was being audited — a move its organizers said suggests the tax agency's scrutiny included non-tea party political groups. Published June 2, 2013

Trays of printed Social Security checks in Philadelphia wait to be mailed from the U.S. Treasury in 2005. (Associated Press) **FILE**

Congress faces 2016 deadline to save Social Security's disability program

Social Security ran a cash-flow deficit of $55 billion last year and one of its two trust funds, used to pay disability benefits, will go bust in three years, forcing benefits to be cut by 20 percent unless Congress acts, the program's trustees reported Friday. Published May 31, 2013

**FILE** Rep. Chris Van Hollen, Maryland Democrat and ranking member on the House Budget Committee, speaks about the budget at the 2013 Fiscal Summit in Washington on May 7, 2013. (Associated Press)

Feds dole out $900 billion in big tax breaks in 2013

The federal government will dole out more than $900 billion in the top 10 tax breaks this year, according to a report Wednesday from the Congressional Budget Office that found the benefits go disproportionately to the poor and the rich. Published May 29, 2013

Associated Press

Republican senators join court case against Obama's recess picks

Senate Republicans on Tuesday urged the Supreme Court to hear the case involving President Obama's recess appointments, saying the administration is trying "to confuse and mislead" the justices by downplaying the weighty constitutional issues at stake Published May 28, 2013

**FILE** Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents take a suspect into custody on March 30, 2012, as part of a nationwide immigration sweep in Chula Vista, Calif. (Associated Press)

GOP lawmakers want Obama to hear out head of ICE union

The chairman of the House Judiciary Committee and a top Republican senator on Thursday told President Obama that he and his aides must meet with immigration law enforcement "whistleblowers" who can expose the flaws in the Senate immigration bill. Published May 24, 2013

Senate OKs judge for D.C. circuit on 97-0 vote

Senators voted 97-0 Thursday to confirm Srikanth Srinivasan to a judgeship on the vitally important U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia after Republicans relented and allowed the vote to go forward this week. Published May 23, 2013

**FILE** Sens. Carl Levin (left), Michigan Democrat and Chairman for the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Permanent subcommittee on Investigations, and John McCain of Arizona, the subcommittee's ranking Republican, arrive on Capitol Hill in Washington on May 21, 2013, for the subcommittee's hearing to examine the methods employed by multinational corporations to shift profits offshore and how such activities are affected by the Internal Revenue Code. (Associated Press)

Top Senate investigators: Lerner misled Congress

Sens. Carl Levin and John McCain, who together run the Senate's permanent investigative subcommittee, sent a letter to the IRS on Thursday calling for Lois Lerner, the woman at the center of the agency's conservative-targeting scandal, to be suspended for dereliction of duty. Published May 23, 2013

House Speaker John A. Boehner, Ohio Republican, listens to a reporter's question during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington on Thursday, May 23, 2013. (Associated Press)

Boehner: House won't pass Senate immigration bill

House Speaker John A. Boehner on Thursday flatly ruled out chances of the House passing the Senate's immigration bill, saying his chamber will debate its own bill instead. Published May 23, 2013

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Nevada Democrat, speaks with reporters as he leaves the weekly Democratic Caucus Lunch on Capitol Hill in Washington on May 14, 2013. (Associated Press)

Reid: Immigration comes before Perez nomination

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Thursday he won't start to pick any big fights with Republicans because he's afraid of upsetting the momentum to pass an immigration bill — and that includes delaying President Obama's Labor Department nominee. Published May 23, 2013

President Obama answers questions during his new conference in the Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House in Washington on April 30, 2013. (Associated Press)

Obama defends drone strikes, reignites Gitmo debate in crucial speech

U.S. drone strikes have killed four Americans, including one who was "specifically targeted" and three others who were not targets, Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. said in a letter to Congress on Wednesday, publicly confirming the strikes for the first time. Published May 22, 2013