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Stephen Dinan

Stephen Dinan

Stephen Dinan can be reached at [email protected].

Articles by Stephen Dinan

Actor Jim Caviezel portraying Jesus in "The Passion of the Christ." (Associated Press)

Out of debate ideas, Congress turns to God

With a government shutdown looming and all sides digging in, the men of the cloth are weighing in, with the Senate chaplain delivering a stinging rebuke Friday morning of the shutdown showdown playing out in Congress. Published September 27, 2013

**FILE** Sen. Dianne Feinstein, California Democrat (Associated Press)

Congress takes action against NSA phone snooping; security argument fails

Congress took the first steps Thursday to restrain the NSA's phone-snooping program, with Sen. Dianne Feinstein laying out details of a bill that require phone data be deleted more quickly and agents to let a secret court know immediately every time they want to dig through the data. Published September 26, 2013

Ron Binz (From Ron Binz' Public Policy Consulting website)

Obama energy nominee Ron Binz becomes climate change battleground

President Obama's nominee to head an obscure but powerful energy panel is in deep trouble on Capitol Hill, but the White House said Thursday it's still standing by Ron Binz in what is shaping up to be a major battle over Mr. Obama's climate agenda. Published September 26, 2013

With four days to go before the federal government is due to run out of money, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (left), Nevada Democrat, looks at a countdown clock during a Sept. 26, 2013, news conference on Capitol in Washington, where Senate Democratic leaders blamed conservative Republicans for holding up a stopgap spending bill to keep the government running. From left are Reid, Senate Budget Committee Chair Sen. Patty Murray of Washington, Senate Majority Whip Richard Durbin of Illinois, Senate Appropriations Committee Chair Barbara Mikulski of Maryland, and Charles Schumer of New York, the Democratic Policy Committee chairman. (Associated Press)

Republican infighting over health care flares in Senate as shutdown looms

The Republican rift over Obamacare spilled onto the Senate floor Thursday during an ugly debate in which Sen. Ted Cruz questioned a colleague's knowledge of Senate rules and Sen. Bob Corker retorted that Mr. Cruz was putting his political ambitions ahead of his party and the country. Published September 26, 2013

Speaker of the House John Boehner, Ohio Republican, and GOP leaders speak to reporters after a closed-door strategy session at the Capitol in Washington on Sept. 26, 2013. (Associated Press)

Boehner rejects Senate stopgap spending bill

House Speaker John A. Boehner flatly ruled out a "clean" stopgap spending measure on Thursday, signaling that the House is not likely to accept the bill Senate Democrats are pushing through their chamber, and that both sides could be headed for shutdown. Published September 26, 2013

**FILE** U.S. Border Patrol agent Jerry Conlin looks to the north on June 13, 2013, near where the border wall ends as is separates Tijuana, Mexico and San Diego. (Associated Press)

Video may record border agents' actions as complaints rise

The federal agency that oversees the U.S. borders said Wednesday it will begin testing the use of video cameras, possibly on agents' and officers' uniforms, as the Obama administration tries to get a handle on complaints about excessive use of force. Published September 25, 2013

This image from Senate video show Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, speaking on the Senate floor at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2013. Cruz says he will speak until he's no longer able to stand in opposition to President Barack Obama's health care law. Cruz began a lengthy speech urging his colleagues to oppose moving ahead on a bill he supports. The measure would prevent a government shutdown and defund Obamacare. (AP Photo/Senate TV)

As Sen. Ted Cruz gives a long speech, Treasury gets short on funding

The Treasury Department said Wednesday that it has less than a month's worth of room to maneuver before it hits the debt limit, dropping yet another major fiscal deadline in the lap of a Congress already stymied over the annual spending bills. Published September 25, 2013

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, leaves the floor of the Senate after skirmishing with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., over the Affordable Care Act, popularly know as "Obamacare," at the Capitol in Washington, Monday, Sept. 23, 2013. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Sen. Ted Cruz's talkathon mostly a spectacle

Republican leaders said Tuesday that a filibuster attempt to prevent a spending bill from reaching the Senate floor was a losing tactic in the fight against Obamacare, and instead began to ramp up pressure on a handful of Democrats, saying the real battle will be an end-of-week vote specifically on whether to keep funding the health care law. Published September 24, 2013

**FILE** Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Nevada Democrat, speaks Sept. 19, 2013, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (Associated Press)

Reid: There is no filibuster

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Tuesday that despite an expected talk-a-thon by Sen. Ted Cruz and his allies in the fight to defund Obamacare, that does not mean the GOP is succeeding in filibustering. Published September 24, 2013

**FILE** Sen. Patrick J. Leahy, Vermont Democrat, chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee. (Associated Press)

Top senator calls for scrapping key snooping Patriot Act section

The Senate's senior lawmaker said Tuesday that it is time to repeal provisions of the Patriot Act that the intelligence community has relied on to collect all Americans' phone records, saying they are not making the country safer. Published September 24, 2013

In a shutdown, Obama picks what's essential

A government shutdown would leave wide latitude to President Obama to decide exactly which federal agencies stop working and which ones are deemed "essential services" that have to keep going even through a shutdown. Published September 22, 2013

Ron Binz (From Ron Binz' Public Policy Consulting website)

Energy nominee Ron Binz loses voltage with contradictions, Obama coal rules

President Obama's nominee to a top energy post is hanging on by a thread after a poor performance last week at a confirmation hearing where he failed to win over key supporters and even appeared to have misled a Senate committee about his record of support for a coal-fired energy plant. Published September 22, 2013

Speaker of the House John Boehner, Ohio Republican, and fellow House GOP members rally at the Capitol in Washington on Sept. 20, 2013, after passing a bill that would fund the government for three months while crippling the health care law that was the signature accomplishment of President Obama's first term. (Associated Press)

House passes spending bill to defund Obamacare

House Republicans passed their stopgap funding bill Friday to keep government open while terminating the new health care law, setting up a final showdown next week with Senate Democrats and President Obama who have firmly rejected that. Published September 20, 2013

** FILE ** Adm. Mike Mullen. (Associated Press)

Benghazi investigators gave Hillary Clinton heads-up on findings

The leaders of the State Department's Benghazi probe defended their inquiry into the 2012 attack, but they acknowledged to Congress on Thursday that their mission was limited in scope and faced questions over why they gave Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton an advance look at their findings. Published September 19, 2013