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Stephen Dinan

Stephen Dinan

Stephen Dinan can be reached at [email protected].

Articles by Stephen Dinan

** FILE ** Republican Ken Cuccinelli holds back tears as he gives his concession speech in Richmond, Va., after losing the governor's race to Democrat Terry McAuliffe Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2013. (AP Photo/Richmond Times-Dispatch, Bob Brown).

Obamacare an effective GOP weapon in Ken Cuccinelli's campaign

Democrats spent heavily to win Virginia's governorship, but Republicans said Wednesday that the closer-than-expected loss by state Attorney General Kenneth T. Cuccinelli II provided a clear demonstration of how they can exploit the unpopularity of Obamacare next year to win the congressional midterm elections. Published November 6, 2013

Virginia Democratic Gov.-elect Terry McAuliffe address his supporters, as his sons Jack, 20, left, and Peter, 11, right, look on, during an election victory party at Tysons Corner, Va., Wednesday, Nov. 6, 2013. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

Virginia election shows Obamacare can be used as political weapon

Democrats spent heavily to win the Virginia governorship Tuesday, but Republicans said by making the race far closer than polls had projected just a few weeks ago, Kenneth T. Cuccinelli's campaign showed how much of a weapon Obamacare can be in the hands of the GOP. Published November 6, 2013

Federal employees flood the streets to get lunch from food trucks at L'Enfant Plaza on the first day back to work after the government shutdown, Washington, D.C., Thursday, October 17, 2013. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)

Feds feel shirked for shutdown work, sue for double pay

Some federal workers who were required to remain on the job during the government shutdown said Monday that they have filed a lawsuit demanding double pay, arguing that the government's failure to pay them on time is a violation of labor laws. Published November 4, 2013

Sen. Lindsey Graham said Wednesday that journalists "should be concerned" about becoming "soft targets" for terror attacks. (Associated Press)

Lindsey Graham will lead charge in Senate for abortion ban after 20 weeks

After months of waiting and speculation about who would take the lead, Sen. Lindsey Graham — not Sen. Marco Rubio — will be the chief sponsor of a bill designed to ban abortions nationwide after 20 weeks, or the point at which some scientific evidence says fetuses may feel pain. Published November 3, 2013

**FILE** Demonstrators protest outside of the U.S. Capitol in Washington during a rally to demand that the U.S. Congress investigate the National Security Agency's mass surveillance programs Saturday, Oct. 26, 2013. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

Senate intel committee approves NSA snooping, with restrictions

The Senate intelligence committee voted Thursday to officially affirm the NSA's ability to collect records of Americans' telephone calls, but imposes new restrictions on federal authorities who want to sift through the data. Published October 31, 2013

**FILE** Sen. Jeff Sessions, Alabama Republican (Associated Press)

Senate GOP blocks key Obama judge, signals renewed fight over court nominees

Senate Republicans on Thursday filibustered one of President Obama's nominees to sit on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, arguing that although the woman is well-qualified, confirmation would allow Democrats to shift the political balance to the left on the country's second most important court. Published October 31, 2013

** FILE ** U.S. Border Patrol agent Jerry Conlin looks out over Tijuana, Mexico, behind, along the old border wall along the U.S. - Mexico border, where it ends at the base of a hill in San Diego, June 13, 2013. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull, File)

Third Republican joins Democrats' immigration bill

Three Republicans have signed up for House Democrats' immigration bill as of Wednesday afternoon, marking a steady increase in support and adding to pressure on GOP leaders to take some action before the end of the year. Published October 30, 2013

**FILE** President Obama speaks on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington on April 17, 2013. (Associated Press)

Federal deficit below $1 trillion for first time in Obama's tenure

Powered by tax increases and deep budget cuts that held spending in check, the federal deficit dropped to $680 billion in fiscal year 2013, according to a Treasury Department report Wednesday that marks the first subtrillion-dollar deficit since President Obama took office. Published October 30, 2013

Sen. Lindsey Graham, South Carolina Republican (Associated Press)

No more Obama nominees until White House relents on Benghazi: Graham

Sen. Lindsey Graham said Wednesday he will "hold" every future Obama nominee, creating a hurdle for them to reach the Senate floor, until President Obama and the State Department allow Congress to hear from those who were on the ground during last year's Benghazi terrorist attack. Published October 30, 2013

Immigration and Customs Enforcement is deporting fewer illegal immigrants this fiscal year, but a larger percentage of them have no criminal records. The numbers suggest that the Obama administration is struggling to meet its stated goals. (ICE via Associated Press)**FILE**

Report: Deportations plummet in 2013, lowest since 2007

U.S. authorities deported fewer immigrants in fiscal year 2013 than at any time since President Obama took office, according to secret numbers obtained by the Center for Immigration Studies which suggest Mr. Obama's non-deportation policies have hindered removals of illegal immigrants. Published October 30, 2013

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper listens at right as National Security Agency Director Gen. Keith Alexander, testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Oct. 29, 2013, before the House Intelligence Committee hearing on potential changes to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). Faced with anger over revelations about U.S. spying at home and abroad, members of Congress suggested Tuesday that programs the Obama administration says are needed to combat terrorism may have gone too far.   (AP Photo/Susan Walsh) (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Clapper: Foreign agents spy on U.S. leaders, too

Top intelligence officials said Tuesday that foreign leaders are being disingenuous when they express outrage over American snooping of their communications, saying those countries try to spy on American leaders, too. Published October 29, 2013

** FILE ** Former President Bill Clinton. (AP Photo/Zach Gibson)

Americans pay $33.10 for every visitor to Clinton birthplace national park

The federal government spends more than $33 for every one of the 24 daily visitors to the national park created to commemorate President Clinton's birthplace, according to a scathing report released Tuesday that said Congress has created far more parks than the system can handle. Published October 29, 2013

Rep. F. James Sensenbrenner Jr., Wisconsin Republican, speaks at a town-hall meeting on Sunday, Oct. 27, 2013, in West Bend, Wis. (AP Photo/Jeffrey Phelps)

Patriot Act author introduces bill to halt NSA snooping

The Republican author of the Patriot Act in the House and the senior Democrat in the Senate teamed together Tuesday to write a bill that would stop the National Security Agency's bulk collection of phone records and require a court order if the government wants to search through Americans' communications. Published October 29, 2013

Rep. Darrell E. Issa, California Republican (Associated Press)

House issues subpoenas to main Obamacare website contractor

The House's chief investigator said Tuesday he has issued subpoenas to Quality Software Services Inc., demanding documents that will show whether the contractor hired to build the federal Obamacare website took precautions on data security. Published October 29, 2013

This Oct. 21, 2013, photo shows new home construction in the Breezy Point section of the Queens borough of New York. In the beachfront enclave of Breezy Point, new homes are beginning to rise after many months of inactivity on the sandy blocks where a year ago fire burned 130 houses and flooding destroyed another 220 during Superstorm Sandy. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

After a wave of Sandy disaster, a trickle of aid to victims

Congress rushed to send $60.4 billion in emergency money to aid Superstorm Sandy victims, saying people's lives depended on getting the full amount out the door as fast as possible — but a year after the storm, the tally shows very little has been spent. Published October 28, 2013

GOP House member hopes to persuade fellow Republicans on immigration

Rep. Jeff Denham has become the first House Republican to sponsor Democratic leaders' immigration bill in a move Hispanic activists said shows a fracturing of Republican opposition and momentum toward passing a bill this year that would legalize most illegal immigrants. Published October 27, 2013

A protester yells as she joins about 250 people as they march to the U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement office with a goal of stopping future deportations on Monday Oct. 14, 2013, in Phoenix.  The protesters chanted "no more deportations" and "shut down ICE." (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

Immigration advocates grow impatient with Obama to take action

President Obama faces an increasingly tough tightrope on immigration, with advocacy groups demanding he take the lead on the issue but Republicans and Democrats on Capitol Hill saying the more involved he gets, the less likely a deal becomes. Published October 24, 2013