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Stephen Dinan

Stephen Dinan

Stephen Dinan can be reached at [email protected].

Articles by Stephen Dinan

House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio, joined by other House GOP leaders, meets with reporters on Capitol Hill, Wednesday, June 27, 2012, following a political strategy session. Boehner defended the contempt of Congress vote against Attorney General Eric Holder, commented on the looming Supreme Court decision on the health care, and updated progress on student loans and the transportation bill. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Sides dig in as contempt vote on Holder looms

The House careened toward a Thursday vote to hold Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. in contempt of Congress after Republicans rejected the Justice Department's final offer for turning over a limited set of documents, saying it wasn't sufficient to complete their investigation into Fast and Furious. Published June 27, 2012

Rep. Ron Paul, Texas Republican, speaks at the University of California at Berkeley on Thursday, April 5, 2012. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

'Audit the Fed' bill advances in House

The House oversight committee voted Wednesday to demand a broad audit of the Federal Reserve System by congressional investigators — a major move that lawmakers said is designed to bring accountability to the murky workings of the independent central bank. Published June 27, 2012

** FILE ** A foreclosed house with a sale-pending sign is shown in Tigard, Ore., in March 2011. (AP Photo/Don Ryan)

Tax cheats got $1.4 billion in stimulus loans

Tax cheats were given $1.4 billion in government-backed mortgage loans under President Obama's economic stimulus, and the government doled out at least an additional $27 million in tax credits to delinquents who took the first-time-homebuyer tax break, according to a government audit released Wednesday. Published June 27, 2012

President Obama waves to supporters June 25, 2012, after arriving on Air Force One at Logan International Airport in Boston. (Associated Press)

Obama gains power and pressure for enforcement

The good news for President Obama out of Monday's Supreme Court immigration ruling is that the justices all seemed to agree that he has broad discretion over whom he chooses to deport. The bad news for him is that he is about to face extreme pressure to grant a blanket exemption to most illegal immigrants, particularly those who now will be found by local police in Arizona. Published June 25, 2012

** FILE ** Judy Pepenella, a New York resident and member of the Conservative Society for Action, protests the health care reform law Monday outside the U.S. Supreme Court. She said she is part of a group of 50 doctors who filed a friend-of-the-court brief advocating that so-called Obamacare be struck down. (Raymond Thompson Jr./The Washington Times)

Split court upholds Ariz. immigration checks

The Supreme Court on Monday struck down most of Arizona's tough immigration law as an unlawful infringement on federal power, but upheld what backers called the "heart" of the law, which lets police stop and question the immigration status of those they suspect are in the country illegally. Published June 25, 2012

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer (AP Photo/Matt York)

Homeland Security suspends immigration agreements with Arizona police

The Obama administration said Monday it is suspending existing agreements with Arizona police over enforcement of federal immigration laws, and said it has issued a directive telling federal authorities to decline many of the calls reporting illegal immigrants that the Homeland Security Department may get from Arizona police. Published June 25, 2012

Obama loses on issue of police immigration stops

An irony of the Supreme Court's ruling Monday on Arizona's law is that the part about which President Obama and his top advisers most complained is the one part the court upheld. Published June 25, 2012

The U.S. Supreme Court building in Washington is pictured in March 2009. (Associated Press)

Supreme Court nixes Montana curb on campaign spending

The Supreme Court on Monday overturned Montana's century-old campaign-finance restrictions, in a decision that reaffirmed the high court's earlier ruling that corporations and unions are entitled to free-speech rights in political campaigns. Published June 25, 2012

Supreme Court upholds key plank of Arizona immigration law

The Supreme Court on Monday struck down most of Arizona's tough immigration law as an unlawful infringement on federal power, but it upheld the most important plank, which allows police to stop and question the immigration status of those they suspect are in the country illegally. Published June 25, 2012

'Si se puede': Obama basks in Hispanics' appreciation

President Obama took a victory lap Friday with Hispanic leaders, saying he moved to halt deportations of young illegal immigrants because he was tired of fighting a losing battle in Congress. Published June 22, 2012

Sen. Marco Rubio, Florida Republican, speaks June 22, 2012, at the NALEO (National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials) conference in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (Associated Press)

Rubio tries to claim middle ground on immigration

In a stern address seeking to reclaim elusive middle ground on immigration, Sen. Marco Rubio told Hispanic leaders on Friday that they need to elevate the issue beyond the political firestorm of the presidential campaign and instead work to rebuild trust with voters. Published June 22, 2012

Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, greets attendees at the NALEO (National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials) conference in Orlando, Fla., Thursday, June 21, 2012. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

Romney hedges on keeping Obama's amnesty in place

Declaring immigration reform a "moral imperative," Mitt Romney on Thursday laid out a broad vision for increasing legal immigration both for businesses and for family reunification, but also vowed to step up border enforcement and complete "a high-tech fence" along the U.S.-Mexico border. Published June 21, 2012

Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney speaks June 21, 2012, at the NALEO (National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials) conference in Orlando, Fla. (Associated Press)

Romney calls immigration reform 'moral imperative'

Mitt Romney called immigration reform a "moral imperative" Thursday, laying out his vision for a broad increase in legal immigration for both business and family reunification and vowing to complete what he called "a high-tech fence" along the border. Published June 21, 2012

Mitt Romney is scheduled to speak to the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials on Thursday in Orlando with President Obama's deportation announcement expected to loom large for both candidates. (Associated Press)

Immigration decision alters campaigns' focus

President Obama's speech Friday to one of the country's largest Hispanic organizations has changed from a potential trip through the gantlet into what amounts to a victory lap after he announced last week that he was unilaterally halting deportations of young illegal immigrants. Published June 20, 2012

Medicare-claims fraud suspected for penis pumps

A new report by federal auditors says a Kansas-based company may have paid out as much as $4.2 million in potentially fraudulent Medicare claims for penis pumps, and the auditors are asking the company to refund the government the money. Published June 19, 2012

**FILE** President Obama announces June 15, 2012, in the Rose Garden of the White House that his administration will stop deporting and begin granting work permits to younger illegal immigrants who came to the U.S. as children and have since led law-abiding lives. (Associated Press)

Romney hits 'timing' of Obama's decision on illegals

Presumed Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney on Sunday refused to say whether he would revoke President Obama's decision to categorically stop deporting young-adult illegal immigrants as the ramifications of the administration's election-year move last week continued to reverberate. Published June 17, 2012

Nick Thomas, 53, of Phoenix holds a sign thanking President Obama at the Arizona Democratic Party in Phoenix on June 15, 2012, after the president announced the easing of enforcement of immigration laws, effective immediately. The new policy offers a chance for hundreds of thousands of younger illegal immigrants to stay in the U.S. and work. (Associated Press/The Arizona Republic)

Obama grants legal status to young illegal immigrants

The Obama administration said Friday it will stop deporting most illegal immigrant students and young adults in a campaign-year move that escalates the immigration debate to the fore. Published June 15, 2012

Rep. Lamar Smith (Associated Press)

Secret report: Catch and release for low-priority illegals proposed

U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the agency charged with guarding the U.S. borders, has written a secret draft policy that would let its agents catch and release low-priority illegal immigrants rather than bring them in for processing and prosecution. Published June 14, 2012

**FILE** Sen. Tom Coburn, Oklahoma Republican (Associated Press)

Feds use tax dollars to fund pet shampoo ad, reality show in India

Every year, the federal government spends hundreds of millions of dollars to market agricultural products abroad — sending taxpayers' money to subsidize the advertising campaigns of some of the country's largest brand names, according to a report by the Senate's chief waste-watcher. Published June 14, 2012