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Stephen Dinan

Stephen Dinan

Stephen Dinan can be reached at [email protected].

Articles by Stephen Dinan

**FILE** House Oversight Committee Chairman Rep. Darrell Issa, California Republican, speaks on Capitol Hill in Washington on May 15, 2013. (Associated Press)

Issa accuses law firm of meddling in congressional investigation

The House's top investigator accused a prominent Washington law and lobbying firm of trying to meddle with Congress's investigation into transparency when one of the company's lobbyists pleaded that lawmakers not ask their client any questions at a hearing Tuesday. Published September 10, 2013

Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks at his meeting with elected region leaders in the Novo-Ogaryovo residence outside Moscow on Sept. 10, 2013. (Associated Press/RIA-Novosti, Mikhail Klimentyev, Presidential Press Service)

Putin: Obama must back off for Syria plan to work

Russian President Vladimir Putin said Tuesday that his government's plan to have Syria turn over chemical weapons will only work if President Obama calls off his plans for military strikes — something the White House has rejected. Published September 10, 2013

**FILE** Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Kentucky Republican, accompanied by Senate Minority Whip John Cornyn (right), Texas Republican, and Sen. John Barrasso, Wyoming Republican, speaks with reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington on June 18, 2013. (Associated Press)

McConnell to vote against Syria strikes

The top Republican in the Senate said Tuesday he will oppose President Obama's call for strikes on Syria, saying the president has not made a credible case and that direct U.S. national security interests are not at stake. Published September 10, 2013

** FILE ** U.S. President Barack Obama, right, speaks with Russia's President Vladimir Putin during arrivals for the G-20 summit at the Konstantin Palace in St. Petersburg, Russia on Thursday, Sept. 5, 2013. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)

All sides claim win in Syria-Russia chemical weapons offer

Even as Capitol Hill waited to see how the Russian chemical weapons offer played out, lawmakers on both sides of the question of Syria strikes claimed credit for helping force the Assad regime's hand. Published September 10, 2013

**FILE** Former Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa P. Jackson (Associated Press)

Ex-EPA chief Lisa Jackson denies trying to avoid sunshine laws

Former Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa P. Jackson told Congress on Tuesday that she didn't abuse her official email accounts, nor did she use her own private account to try to circumvent open-records laws. Published September 10, 2013

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

Senate puts off Syria vote

The Senate has put off a key test vote on the resolution authorizing President Obama to attack Syria, with Majority Leader Harry Reid saying Monday it's more important to get the debate right than to get it done fast. Published September 9, 2013

Dollar bills are on display at the Diversified table during a job fair at the Radisson Martinique hotel, Tuesday, Nov. 9, 2010 in New York. The insurance company is giving away dollar bills to attract sales representatives. The Labor Department said Thursday, Dec. 9, 2010, that  first-time claims for jobless aid fell by 17,000 to a seasonally-adjusted 421,000 in the week ending Dec. 4. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

Government red ink jumps 25% in August

The federal deficit surged nearly 25 percent in August to reach $753 billion through the first 11 months of the fiscal year, but the Congressional Budget Office said Monday it expects the final year-end total to be lower. Published September 9, 2013

**FILE** Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Nevada Democrat, heads to the Senate floor on Sept. 6, 2013, to introduce a resolution for the authorization of military action in support of President Obama's request for a strike against Syria. (Associated Press)

Senate moves to Syria debate

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid officially moved to bring the Syria war debate to the chamber floor Monday afternoon, and said there will be an early test vote on Wednesday. Published September 9, 2013

Syria attack: High-stakes decisions on Capitol Hill are yes, no and maybe

Their constituents are against it, their party leaders in Congress are generally for it, and President Obama has declared it a moral imperative — leaving rank-and-file members to sort it all out and take a career-defining vote on whether to authorize military strikes on Syria. Published September 8, 2013

**FILE** Rep. James Sensenbrenner, Wisconsin Republican, testifies July 17, 2013, at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on the Voting Rights Act on Capitol Hill. (Associated Press)

Patriot Act's author files court papers to stop 'frightening' Obama abuses

The chief author of the Patriot Act has filed court papers in support of a lawsuit seeking to stop the National Security Agency's bulk collection of records, saying that the Obama administration is going far beyond what he intended when he wrote the law in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on New York and the Pentagon. Published September 6, 2013

**FILE** Donald Trump speaks at the 124th Annual Republican Lincoln Day Dinner in Novi, Mich., on May 21, 2013. (Associated Press/The Detroit News)

IRS spent $10,000 to make parody of Trump's 'Apprentice'

The IRS has turned over another of the parody videos agency employees made with government money — this one a send-up of Donald Trump's "Apprentice" program, the House Ways and Means Committee said Friday. Published September 6, 2013

Senate Intelligence Committee Vice Chairman Sen. Saxby Chambliss, Georgia Republican, arrives on Capitol Hill for a closed-door briefing with national security officials on the situation in Syria on Sept. 5, 2013. President Obama has requested congressional authorization of military intervention in Syria in response to last month's alleged sarin gas attack in the Syrian civil war. (Associated Press)

In U.S. and around world, doubts grow over attack on Syria

President Obama, traveling in Russia, struggled to make his case to skeptical foreign leaders for military strikes in Syria, while his administration faced growing opposition from Congress back home, where head counts Thursday showed his war plan in danger of being defeated. Published September 5, 2013

Secretary of State John F. Kerry confers with U.S. Ambassador to Syria Robert Ford on Capitol Hill on Wednesday during a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing on President Obama's request for congressional authorization for military intervention in Syria. The assault would be a response to a chemical weapons attack in the Syrian civil war. (Associated Press)

Syria war plan advances in Senate, pushes Obama to help rebels

Senators wrote a war plan Wednesday for retaliatory military strikes against Syria, narrowly winning committee approval for a bipartisan blueprint that would grant President Obama authority to bomb the Assad regime's chemical weapons facilities. Published September 4, 2013

Senate Foreign Relations Committee member Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., reacts after the committee voted to accept his amendment as they consider the authorization for use of military force in Syria during a business meeting, Wednesday, Sept. 4, 2013, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Senate committee passes resolution backing strikes in Syria

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee approved a resolution Wednesday granting President Obama limited authority to conduct military strikes on Syria, after nearly an hour of wrestling over the details of war planning and trying to make sure the conflict doesn't spiral out of control. Published September 4, 2013

** FILE ** Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel (left) and Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey (right), chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, arrive for a closed-door intelligence briefing for members of the Senate Armed Services Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington on Wednesday, Sept. 4, 2013. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Senate-crafted Syria resolution riddled with loopholes for Obama

Senators on Wednesday tried to write a tight resolution authorizing President Obama to strike Syria under very specific circumstances, but analysts and lawmakers said the language still has plenty of holes the White House could use to expand military action well beyond what Congress appears to intend. Published September 4, 2013