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Stephen Dinan

Stephen Dinan

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Articles by Stephen Dinan

**FILE** Sen. Chuck Grassley, Iowa Republican, speaks during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on immigrant women and immigration reform on Capitol Hill in Washington on March 18, 2013. (Associated Press)

Lessons of 1986 amnesty loom in immigration debate

As Congress takes up immigration reform, the last major amnesty in 1986 hangs heavily over the debate — a lesson for both sides in the perils of failing on border and employment security, even as they move for another round of legalization. Published June 10, 2013

U.S. Border Patrol agents patrol the border fence in Naco, Ariz., on Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2012, near where Agent Nicholas Ivie was shot and killed and one other was shot and injured. (Associated Press)

Border Patrol union quiet on immigration bill debate

They bill themselves as "the real border security experts," but the National Border Patrol Council — the union representing U.S. Border Patrol agents — has been uniquely silent as Congress prepares to debate immigration. Published June 10, 2013

N.M. moves to halt first U.S. horse slaughterhouse

New Mexico's attorney general has ruled that horse meat is an adulterated product, which animal rights advocates said should halt a slaughterhouse that had applied to become the first in the U.S. to resume horse slaughter for human consumption. Published June 10, 2013

**FILE** Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Nevada Democrat, speaks with reporters following a Democratic strategy session at the Capitol in Washington on April 9, 2013. (Associated Press)

Sen. Harry Reid refuses to bend on core of 'Gang of Eight' immigration bill

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid ruled out any major changes to the immigration bill he will bring to the chamber floor this week, saying in an interview that aired Sunday that he will battle to prevent anyone from altering the core of the bipartisan deal reached by the so-called Gang of Eight. Published June 7, 2013

**FILE** Men recently deported from Arizona wait in line to be registered with Mexican authorities at the border in Nogales, Mexico, on April 28, 2010. (Associated Press)

GOP votes to lift deportation limits; signals trouble for broader reform bill

The immigration fight wasn't supposed to begin until next week but it got a head start Thursday when House Republicans voted to overturn President Obama's policies and start deporting rank-and-file illegal immigrants again — an early signal that a broad legalization bill will have trouble passing Congress this year. Published June 6, 2013

**FILE** Men recently deported from Arizona wait in line to be registered with Mexican authorities at the border in Nogales, Mexico, on April 28, 2010. (Associated Press)

House rebukes Obama, challenges deportation policy

The House voted Thursday to overturn all of President Obama's non-deportation policies, in a vote freighted with meaning as Congress warily eyes a broader immigration debate later over the next few months. Published June 6, 2013

**FILE** Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Nevada Republican, speaks with reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington on June 4, 2013, following a Democratic strategy session. (Associated Press)

Immigration bill heads to Senate floor

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid on Thursday officially began the process of bringing the immigration bill to the Senate floor, setting up the first major test vote for next Monday. Published June 6, 2013

Sen. Marco Rubio flexible on immigration bill; House negotiators finishing work

Sen. Marco Rubio said Wednesday that he'd be all right with breaking up the immigration bill into smaller pieces, but said the most important part of this month's debate will be how best to improve security so voters believe government is finally serious about controlling the border and weeding out illegal immigrants. Published June 6, 2013

Volunteers pass through the first full body scanner, which uses backscatter technology, at O'Hare International Airport in Chicago on March 10, 2010. Those airport scanners with their all-too revealing body images will soon be going away. The Transportation Security Administration says the X-ray scanners will be gone by June 2013 because the company that makes them can't fix the privacy issues. (Associated Press)

TSA screenings lack objectivity, probe finds

The TSA's program to let agents pick out people for closer screening based on the agents' observation fails to meet basic standards of training of objectivity, according to a report released Wednesday by the agency's auditor. Published June 5, 2013

**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