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Stephen Dinan

Stephen Dinan

Stephen Dinan can be reached at [email protected].

Articles by Stephen Dinan

"There's still significant distance between the two sides. We intend to continue negotiations," said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. (Associated Press)

Offers fly, but still no 'fiscal cliff' agreement

With hours to go, President Obama and Congress barreled toward the New Year's Day "fiscal cliff," trading last-minute offers and narrowing the range of options Sunday, but reaching no deal. Published December 30, 2012

President Obama delivers a statement on the "fiscal cliff" negotiations with congressional leaders in the briefing room of the White House on Friday, Dec. 28, 2012, in Washington. The negotiations are a last-ditch effort to avoid across-the-board first-of-the-year tax increases and deep spending cuts. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Obama says immigration reform will be priority

President Obama says immigration is his major second-term priority, on par with his push for health care in his first term, according to an interview aired Sunday that continues to boost the issue to the top of the political conversation. Published December 30, 2012

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., arrives at the White House in Washington, Friday, Dec. 28, 2012, for a closed-door meeting between President Barack Obama and congressional leaders to negotiate the framework for a deal on the fiscal cliff. The negotiations are a last ditch effort to avoid across-the-board first of the year tax increases and deep spending cuts. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)

Sides trade blame on 'fiscal cliff' as talks proceed

The two Senate leaders were trying Saturday to hash out a tax-and-spending deal to avert this "fiscal cliff," even as both sides took to the airwaves to try to assure voters they want to get something done. Published December 29, 2012

**FILE** Sen. John McCain, Arizona Republican (Associated Press)

Senators try to head off 'nuclear' filibuster fight

Seeking to head off a poisonous debate over filibuster rules at the beginning of the new Congress, a gang of eight senators on Friday said they've worked out new procedures that could grease the legislative wheels while still preserving minority rights. Published December 28, 2012

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada leaves the White House in Washington, Friday, Dec. 28, 2012, after a closed-door meeting between President Barack Obama and congressional leaders to negotiate the framework for a deal on the fiscal cliff. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)

Senate leaders hopeful for last-minute 'fiscal cliff' deal

The top Democrat and Republican in the Senate emerged from a meeting at the White House Friday evening to say they are hopeful they can strike a last-minute deal to avert the tax increases and spending cuts looming in less than four days. Published December 28, 2012

'After you' dance on 'fiscal cliff' deadline

House Republican leaders said Thursday that they will bring their chamber back to town this weekend to try to avert the "fiscal cliff" — the sole optimistic sign on a day when pessimism deepened within both parties on whether Congress can avoid the looming tax increases and automatic spending cuts. Published December 27, 2012

Brian Emanuel Schatz (D-Hawaii), kisses his wife, Linda, after re-enacting his swearing-in ceremony with Vice President Joe Biden inside the old Senate Chamber at the U.S. Capitol Building, Washington, D.C., Thursday, Dec. 27, 2012. Schatz, who was the Lieutenant Governor for Hawaii was selected by Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie to the U.S. Senate seat left vacant by the late Daniel K. Inouye. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)

New Hawaii senator provides Democrats with reinforcements

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid called for reinforcements and Hawaii's governor responded, dispatching Lt. Gov. Brian Schatz to Washington to take over the state's empty Senate seat on Thursday, ahead of a series of potentially critical votes. Published December 27, 2012

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada speaks to reporters following the Democratic policy luncheon on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2012. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Reid: Time has run out on 'fiscal cliff'

The Senate returned to business Thursday with an increasing sense that the country will go over the "fiscal cliff," leading to higher taxes and deep spending cuts across the board. Published December 27, 2012

ICE Director John T. Morton (right) (Associated Press)

Increase in deportations hits criminals

The Obama administration has dramatically changed the composition of those it's deporting now that President Obama's non-deportation policy is in effect, setting an overall record for the number of people kicked out of the U.S. last year. Published December 23, 2012

** FILE ** President Obama speaks at a news conference in the briefing room of the White House on Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2012 in Washington. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)

Obama administration sets deportation record

The Obama administration deported a record 409,849 illegal immigrants in the last fiscal year, with the majority of them convicted criminals, according to statistics released Friday. Published December 21, 2012

Rep. Lamar Smith (Associated Press)

Homeland Security postpones stricter driver's license rules

The Obama administration on Thursday once again delayed the deadline for states to comply with stricter standards for driver's licenses, which were put in place after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the U.S. and were designed to keep illegal immigrants from being able to get valid identification. Published December 20, 2012

House Speaker John A. Boehner, Ohio Republican, addresses reporters on the "fiscal cliff" negotiations on Capitol Hill in Washington on Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2012. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Boehner's 'Plan B' to avoid 'fiscal cliff' 
fails to win
 over GOP

House Republicans' "Plan B" to avert the "fiscal cliff" came crashing down Thursday night after party leaders realized they didn't have the votes to pass it, and pulled it from the floor — leaving the country poised on the edge of massive tax increases and spending cuts. Published December 20, 2012

**FILE** Americans for Tax Reform chief Grover Norquist. (Barbara L. Salisbury/The Washington Times)

For conservatives, tax increase is in eye of beholder

President Obama and House Speaker John A. Boehner are squabbling over the "fiscal cliff," but an even bigger fight is going on within conservative circles over Mr. Boehner’s latest offer to extend tax cuts for all but millionaires, who would see their taxes increase. Published December 19, 2012

** FILE ** President Barack Obama speaks about negotiations regarding the fiscal cliff as he takes questions from reporters, Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2012, at the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

Boehner to hold vote on ‘Plan B’ to skirt ‘fiscal cliff’

House Speaker John A. Boehner on Wednesday dared President Obama to veto the Republican "Plan B" offer to avoid the "fiscal cliff" — higher tax rates on those making more than $1 million but tax cuts for everyone else — even as the president pleaded for cooperation rather than confrontation, saying he has already moved halfway. Published December 19, 2012

** FILE ** In this March 30, 2010, photo reviewed by the U.S. military, a U.S. trooper stands in the turret of a vehicle with a machine gun, left, as a guard looks out from a tower at the detention facility on Guantanamo Bay U.S. Naval Base in Cuba. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)

Defense policy deal picks fight with Obama; bill stops Gitmo transfers

Congress is daring President Obama to veto the annual defense policy bill after negotiators struck a deal Tuesday that would continue to prohibit him from transferring suspected terrorist detainees out of Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, for another year. Published December 18, 2012

Alejandro N. Mayorkas is director of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service. (Associated Press)

Review finds some aliens get benefits

The federal government's system of tracking immigration status is so broken that it gives a green light to one in eight aliens who have been ordered deported, according to an audit Tuesday that found the government has gone on to approve some of those who slip through for work in sensitive areas of airports and granted them benefits such as Medicaid or food stamps. Published December 18, 2012