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Stephen Dinan

Stephen Dinan

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**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

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Nevada Democrat, speaks May 21, 2013, during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington following the Democratic policy luncheon. (Associated Press)

Reid: D.C. court needs Obama nominees for ideological balance

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Wednesday that he will push to confirm more judges to the federal appeals court in Washington after that court ruled this year that President Obama's broad use of recess appointment powers was unconstitutional. Published May 22, 2013

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., right, confers with Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, left, the ranking member, as the Senate Judiciary Committee assembles to work on a landmark immigration bill to secure the border and offer citizenship to millions, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Monday, May 20, 2013. Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., stands at center. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

House Republicans find holes in immigration bill

Less than 24 hours after senators powered their immigration bill through committee, the legislation came under fire in the House, where the former head of immigration enforcement testified that it has too many loopholes that could delay enforcement, let dangerous people in, and hamstring agents from fighting illegal immigration in the future. Published May 22, 2013

** FILE ** Sen. Lindsey Graham, South Carolina Republican, responds to questions and offers remarks during an interview in Washington on Wednesday, July 6, 2011. (Rod Lamkey Jr./The Washington Times)

Immigration reform bill clears committee hurdles, heads to full Senate

The Senate immigration bill cleared the Judiciary Committee on a bipartisan vote Tuesday night, ducking — for now — big fights on guns, gay rights and how broadly the legalization is drawn, and leaving the 867-page overhaul mostly unscathed by conservative attacks. Published May 21, 2013

The exterior of the Internal Revenue Service building in Washington is seen here on March 22, 2013. (Associated Press) **FILE**

Group sues over IRS, demands agency approve application

True the Vote — one of the conservative groups the IRS subjected to special scrutiny in its application for tax-exempt status — sued the federal government on Tuesday, demanding the tax agency approve its application that has now been pending for three years. Published May 21, 2013

**FILE** Roberto Morales, 25, holds a sign representing a permanent resident card while attending the "Rally for Citizenship" on Capitol Hill on April 10, 2013, in support of immigration reform. (Associated Press)

Immigration bill backers say not all back-taxes will be paid

The Senate immigration bill's authors acknowledged Tuesday that their legislation does not require illegal immigrants to pay all back taxes, saying it would be too difficult to make them ante up everything they might owe. Published May 21, 2013

Senate Judiciary Committee members (from left) Chuck Grassley, Iowa Republican, Charles E. Schumer, New York Democrat, and Patrick J. Leahy, Vermont Democrat, confer Monday on the landmark immigration bill. (Associated Press)

Senate panel OKs tax-welfare benefits for newly legal immigrants

The Senate Judiciary Committee voted Monday to allow illegal immigrants who get legal status to begin collecting tax-welfare payments, as the panel spent a fourth day working through amendments to the massive immigration bill and party-line splits began to emerge. Published May 20, 2013

Sen. Chuck Grassley, Iowa Republican, introduced an amendment to the immigration bill that would prevent changes to the asylum or refugee systems until after an audit of what went wrong in Boston.
(Associated Press)

Rethinking immigration rules for asylum after Boston

The Boston Marathon bombing hasn't derailed the immigration debate, but it has sent lawmakers back to the drawing board on some key provisions, including changes to the asylum system that the two suspects in the bombing used to come to the U.S. Published May 19, 2013

Illegal immigrants easily step over a fallen barbed-wire fence between Mexico and the United States near the town of Sasabe, Mexico, in 2004. The number of apprehensions of illegal border-crossers is down while the number of deaths in the desert is high. (Associated Press)

Non-deportation rate drops — to 99.2 percent

The Homeland Security Department has granted legal status to 99.2 percent of all illegal immigrants who have applied under President Obama's new non-deportation policy for young adults, according to the latest numbers released Friday. Published May 18, 2013