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Stephen Dinan

Stephen Dinan

Stephen Dinan can be reached at [email protected].

Articles by Stephen Dinan

A Predator B unmanned aircraft lands after a mission in Texas in November. U.S. Customs and Border Protection uses the unmanned aircraft outfitted with powerful infrared cameras and sensitive radar to patrol U.S. borders. (Associated Press)

Border agency overextended on drone program

The Homeland Security Department ordered so many drones it can't keep them all flying and doesn't have a good plan for how to use them, according to a new audit the department's inspector general released Monday. Published June 11, 2012

** FILE ** Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. (Associated Press)

House moving to hold Holder in contempt

House Republicans said Monday that they will move to hold Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. in contempt of Congress, escalating a separation-of-powers battle over Fast and Furious, the Obama administration's botched gun-walking operation. Published June 11, 2012

Sen. John F. Kerry of Massachusetts has said he will offer an amendment to the farm bill to eliminate the new FSIS catfish-inspection office. (Associated Press)

GAO targets catfish program

In unusually blunt language, Congress' top auditor told the federal government last week to scrap plans for a special catfish-inspection program, saying the new office lawmakers approved just a few years ago is turning out to be a waste of money. Published June 10, 2012

Sen. Marco Rubio, Florida Republican (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

TWT polls: Rubio is conservatives' top pick for Romney's running mate

Sen. Marco Rubio, the son of Cuban immigrants and a rapidly rising star in the Republican Party, emerged this weekend as the clear favorite potential vice presidential pick of conservative activists, according to two polls sponsored by The Washington Times. Published June 10, 2012

Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr.'s relationship with Congress has grown testier than any other Cabinet secretary as he has fended off various inquiries. (Associated Press)

Congress, Holder put relationship to the test

Before Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. testified to the House Judiciary Committee on Thursday, the ranking Democrat had a warning for his colleagues on the panel: Play nice. Published June 7, 2012

** FILE ** Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney campaigns in St. Louis. Now that the primaries are effectively over, Mr. Romney has turned his attention to fundraising. (Associated Press)

Democrats 'got beat' in May fundraising

Mitt Romney and the Republican National Committee trounced President Obama and national Democrats in fundraising last month, according to numbers both campaigns released Thursday, signaling that the Republicans can compete on equal footing with the White House in November. Published June 7, 2012

President Obama speaks on Wednesday, June 6, 2012, at a campaign event at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Los Angeles. (Associated Press)

Romney, RNC top Obama, DNC in May fundraising

Mitt Romney and the Republican National Committee raised more in campaign donations than President Obama and the Democratic National Committee in May, according to the numbers both campaigns announced Thursday. Published June 7, 2012

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Kentucky Republican (AP Photo)

GOP proposes one-year delay on new tax code

Congressional Republicans floated a deal Wednesday that would extend the Bush-era tax cuts through the end of 2013, which they said would give Congress and whoever occupies the White House next year a chance to work on a total overhaul of the tax code. Published June 6, 2012

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Kentucky Republican (AP Photo)

GOP floats one-year extension of tax cuts

Congressional Republicans on Wednesday floated the idea of a one-year extension of all of the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts, saying it will give the economy certainty and give Capitol Hill breathing space to take up a broader reform of the tax code next year. Published June 6, 2012

Democratic state Senate candidate John Lehman gives a high-five to a young supporter as he arrives for an election-night party at the Racine Labor Center in Racine, Wis., on Tuesday, June 5, 2012. (AP Photo/Scott Anderson, Journal Times)

Dems win control of Wisconsin Senate

Republican Gov. Scott Walker won his recall election, but he may have a tougher time getting things through the Wisconsin Legislature after Democrats appear to have successfully recalled a Republican state senator, which would flip the balance of power in the state. Published June 6, 2012

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker waves during his victory party on Tuesday, June 5, 2012, in Waukesha, Wis., after defeating Democratic challenger Tom Barrett in a special recall election. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)

Walker, GOP win big in Wis. recall races

Wisconsin gave Gov. Scott Walker a renewed lease Tuesday, voting to keep the Republican in office in a recall election that amounted to an embrace of his union-busting, government-trimming agenda in this traditionally Democratic-leaning state. Published June 5, 2012

"[Republicans] don't want to be drawn into a conversation on this issue and they're hoping the vote gets drowned out." Sen. Charles E. Schumer, New York Democrat.

Women wooed with Hill vote on pay bias

The battle for women's votes will play out in stark terms on the floor of the Senate this week when Democrats push a bill to make it easier for women to sue for claims of sex discrimination in pay — and see the bill defeated by a GOP-led filibuster. Published June 4, 2012

**FILE** A U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer walks through a line of cars at a crossing from Canada near Blaine, Wash., on July 21, 2009. (Associated Press)

Forest Service hit for Border Patrol call

A federal department ruled last week that the Forest Service violated a Spanish-speaking woman's civil rights by calling the Border Patrol to help translate during a routine stop, saying it was "humiliating" to Hispanics and an illicit backdoor way to capture more illegal immigrants. Published June 4, 2012

** FILE ** Rep. Richard Nugent, Florida Republican, center, accompanied by Rep. Austin Scott, Georgia Republican, right, and Rep. Joe Wilson, South Carolina Republican, speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Jan., 24, 2012, to discuss the budget. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Congressional fight gives peek at intelligence spending

Most of the recent battles over government spending have been dramatic, bloody and excruciatingly fought in public, but disputes over the approximately $80 billion budgeted every year for the intelligence community has generally been hidden - until now. Published May 31, 2012

"We just can't change the rules if we don't like the results," said Rep. Candice S. Miller, Michigan Republican. (Associated Press)

House orders solid base line on border

When the Obama administration scrapped the old definition for measuring border security two years ago, it left the government without any way of measuring how much of the U.S.-Mexico border is under operational control. Published May 30, 2012

Rep. David Rivera, Florida Republican, has introduced a bill to help good students who were brought to the U.S. as children by illegal immigrants and, through no fault of their own, could be deported. (Associated Press)

Republican offers Dream option for illegals

Wading directly into the thorny immigration debate, a key House Republican on Wednesday introduced the GOP's first version of the Dream Act in this Congress in a bill that would give a select group of high-achieving illegal immigrants the chance to become U.S. citizens. Published May 30, 2012

**FILE** Undocumented college student Jorge Herrera, 18, (center) of Carson, Calif., rallies with students and Dream Act supporters in Los Angeles on Dec. 25, 2010. The Dream Act would have given provisional legal status to illegal immigrants brought to the country as children. (Associated Press)

Republicans introduce their own version of Dream Act

Rep. David Rivera on Wednesday introduced the first Republican version of the Dream Act in this Congress which would give a select group of high-achieving illegal immigrant students the chance to stay and study in the U.S. Published May 30, 2012

Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney speaks May 29, 2012, during a campaign event at the Somers Furniture warehouse in Las Vegas. (Associated Press)

Equal pay bill puts Romney on the line on women

Mitt Romney survived an April skirmish over women's pay, but he and fellow Republicans are about to face a tougher test as the Senate takes up the Paycheck Fairness Act — the next big fight in pay equality between the sexes. Published May 29, 2012

President Barack Obama, right, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, center, and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey, stand during the singing of the National Anthem at the Memorial Day Observance at the Memorial Amphitheater at Arlington National Cemetery, Monday, May 28, 2012. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

Obama honors veterans, vows end to Afghan war

President Obama on Monday officially kicked off a years-long commemoration of the Vietnam War, saying the country should use the 50th anniversary of the conflict's start as a chance to apologize for poor treatment of returning veterans, which he called "one of the most painful chapters" in U.S. history. Published May 28, 2012

Kentucky lawyer Kent Masterson Brown spent years researching and writing a book about Lt. Alonzo Cushing. (Kent Masterson Brown)

Long battle to get Civil War officer Medal of Honor in final charge

When the House this month voted to waive the time constraints on issuing the Medal of Honor for Lt. Alonzo Cushing, it brought the artillery officer and hero of the Union stand at Pickett's Charge one step closer to the military's highest honor — though in the eyes of his supporters, it's 149 years late. Published May 27, 2012