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Stephen Dinan

Stephen Dinan

Stephen Dinan can be reached at [email protected].

Articles by Stephen Dinan

Keith Saunders, left, a certified Cover California insurance agent, explains a health insurance plan to Mark Tammes at a registration site hosted by Service Employees International Union-United Healthcare Workers, Monday, March 31, 2014, in Sacramento, Calif. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli) ** FILE **

Price of fixing, upgrading Obamacare website rises to $121 million

Fixing the Obamacare website to get it ready to handle a second round of enrollments will cost the federal government $121 million, according to Accenture, the contractor hired to repair the glitchy website after the original contractor, CGI Federal, was fired in January. Published April 29, 2014

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker speaks during an event to announce the expansion of Family Care, a state-administered program that provides long-term care to disabled and elderly residents under Medicaid during an event at Options for Independent Living in Green Bay Monday, April 21, 2014.  (AP Photo/Press-Gazette Media, Jim Matthews)

Federal judge strikes down Wisconsin's voter ID law

A federal judge reopened the voter identification debate Tuesday when he struck down a new Wisconsin law, saying it discriminated against blacks and Hispanics, and renewing doubts about the Republican push for stricter voting laws across the country. Published April 29, 2014

FILE - This March 26, 2014 file photo shows House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio speaking during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington. Boehner’s primary races are often about as challenging as a tap-in putt. But, with three Republican opponents on the ballot May 6 and some outside money coming in aimed against him, Boehner’s campaign has run two rounds of television ads amid other voter outreach efforts. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

Boehner: Immigration depends on Obama's actions

House Speaker John A. Boehner said Tuesday that getting a big immigration deal remains on hold until President Obama takes some steps to prove he will enforce any law Congress passes — once again tamping down on expectations his chamber will get a bill done this year. Published April 29, 2014


No comment on petition to deport Bieber

The White House on Friday said it wouldn't comment on the petition to deport Justin Bieber, which was filed in January and became the second-most popular petition on the president's website. Published April 20, 2014

Red-state Democrats blast latest Keystone delay

The Obama administration's latest Keystone pipeline delay had barely been announced late last week when red-state Democrats began to howl, calling the move everything from ridiculous to irresponsible and vowing to explore ways to force President Obama's hand. Published April 20, 2014

This Feb. 6, 2014 photo, provided by the office of the Iranian President, shows Hamid Aboutalebi, an Iranian diplomat, who was recently named as Iran's ambassador to the United Nations, speaking in his office in Tehran, Iran. President Barack Obama has signed legislation aimed at blocking Iran’s chosen ambassador to the United Nations but says he’s only treating it as guidance. The unusual legislation bars anyone from entering the U.S. as a U.N. representative if they’ve engaged in espionage or terrorist activity and still pose a threat to U.S. security. It’s aimed at blocking Hamid Aboutalebi, linked to the 1979 takeover of the U.S. embassy in Tehran. (AP Photo/Iranian Presidency Office, Mohammad Berno)

Obama signs law denying Iran ambassador's visa, but says law is 'advisory'

The president, who took office saying he would curtail use of signing statements to reinterpret laws, issued just such a statement on this latest law, which Congress hastily passed to target Hamid Aboutalebi, who the U.S. says was involved in the 1979 hostage crisis. Published April 18, 2014

FILE - In this March 11, 2013 photo, a sign reading "Stop the Transcanada Pipeline" stands in a field near Bradshaw, Neb., along the Keystone XL pipeline route through the state. A Nebraska district court struck down a law that allowed the Keystone XL oil pipeline to proceed through the state, Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2014. The law could have been used to force landowners to allow the pipeline on their property. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik, File)

Keystone XL pipeline still on hold after State Dept. decision

A Nebraska judge ruled earlier this year that the state cut corners in its permitting process for the pipeline, which left the project in limbo there, even as the federal government was still considering whether to approve the pipeline. Published April 18, 2014

** FILE ** This March 26, 2014, file photo shows House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio speaking during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

Immigration still on hold: Boehner's office

A day after reports that House Speaker John A. Boehner is telling fundraisers he is determined to get an immigration bill done this year, the Ohio Republican's spokesman walked those comments back slightly, saying any action will still depend on President Obama. Published April 18, 2014

Rep. Paul Ryan, Wisconsin Republican, took his final crack at a budget last week when the House cleared his 2015 plan, which again calls for holding revenue steady while making deep cuts to both annual discretionary spending and to entitlement programs such as Medicare and Social Security. Those cuts would bring the budget into balance in 2024. (Associated Press)

CBO shows it's Paul Ryan 4, Obama 0 on budget targeting

Soon after the tea party era began in Congress in 2011, President Obama and House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan each released their budgets, proposing how much the government should tax and spend over the rest of the decade. Published April 17, 2014

Immigration policy has plagued President Obama, as he spent the last five years trying to strike a difficult balance on the issue between conservatives in Congress and immigrant-rights advocates. (Associated Press Photographs)

Obama conciliatory on immigration

President Obama sounded a more conciliatory note on immigration Thursday, a day after he issued a statement criticizing House Republicans for "extreme" votes on the issue and angering a top GOP lawmaker who said it further poisoned chances for a bill to get done this year. Published April 17, 2014

The attorney for former Internal Revenue Service official Lois Lerner says his client will continue to assert her rights not to testify about the IRS targeting of conservative groups. (Associated Press)

IRS emails reveal discussion with Justice about suing nonprofits

IRS emails released Wednesday show that just before the tea party targeting scandal was revealed last year, Lois G. Lerner and her colleagues at the tax agency were talking with the Justice Department about making examples out of nonprofit groups that they felt were violating campaign laws by playing political roles. Published April 16, 2014

Rep. Ed Whitfield, Kentucky Republican, says President Obama should not claim credit for increased oil and natural gas production in the U.S. because production has slipped on federal lands, particularly offshore. (Associated Press)

Oil production lags on federal lands

The U.S. is enjoying a huge oil and gas energy boom but the Obama administration has been left behind as production on federal lands has lagged, according to a new nonpartisan report that energy advocates said shows President Obama is a squandering opportunities to make the U.S. more energy independent. Published April 16, 2014

**FILE** House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., with House GOP leaders, speaks with reporters following a Republican strategy session, at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2013. At left is Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio.  (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Eric Cantor rejects latest Obama immigration outreach

President Obama tried to kick-start the immigration debate Wednesday with a call to a top House Republican, but his target, Majority Leader Eric Cantor, rejected the overture, saying it was made just hours after the president took a partisan shot on the very same issue — underscoring why Mr. Obama is getting little accomplished in Washington. Published April 16, 2014

House Armed Services Committee Chairman Howard P. "Buck" McKeon, California Republican, said he will not include legalization in the main bill he introduces, which means it will be up to someone else to offer an amendment in the committee or on the floor. The panel will begin debating the defense policy bill at the end of this month and hold a full committee vote May 7. (Associated Press)

American Legion shoots down idea to tie immigration to military service

The American Legion says it is opposed to trying to tie immigration into the annual defense policy debate, calling it an unacceptable "amnesty" and dealing a serious blow to Republicans desperate to pass some sort of legalization of illegal immigrants ahead of November's elections. Published April 15, 2014

Ukrainian army troops set up a position at an airport in Kramatorsk, eastern Ukraine, Tuesday, April 15, 2014. In the first Ukrainian military action against a pro-Russian uprising in the east, government forces clashed Tuesday with about 30 armed gunmen at a small airport in Kramatorsk. (AP Photo/Sergei Grits)

Amid clashes, White House nixes 'lethal' Ukraine aid

The White House said Tuesday that President Obama will not send lethal military equipment to Ukraine, even as the new pro-Western government in Kiev began a counteroffensive to recapture ground in eastern Ukraine that had been occupied by pro-Russian militia forces. Published April 15, 2014

** FILE ** This April 1, 2014, file photo shows Attorney General Eric Holder speaking in New York. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)

GOP writes legislation to deny Eric Holder his salary

A Republican congressman has introduced a bill that would stop government paychecks for officials who have been found in contempt of Congress — a move that seems designed in the short term to go after Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. Published April 15, 2014