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Stephen Dinan

Stephen Dinan

Stephen Dinan can be reached at [email protected].

Articles by Stephen Dinan

Report on tax breaks a revealing read

Tax breaks for whaling ship captains, feeding stray cats and holding office parties for low-wage employees all have been ruled legal under tax law, according to a new report that comes just as the debate over so-called "tax expenditures," estimated to be worth as much as $1 trillion a year, is heating up. Published July 18, 2011

President Barack Obama talks about the ongoing budget negotiations during a news conference, Friday, July 15, 2011, in the briefing room of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Obama: No 'radical' budget fix needed

Fighting back against Republican calls for greater spending cuts, President Obama said Friday that the government doesn't need to make major changes to get its budget back on track and called for that solution to include some trims coupled with tax increases. Published July 15, 2011

From left: President Obama, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Nevada Democrat, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Kentucky Republican, and Senate Majority Whip Richard Durbin, Illinois Democrat, meet in the Cabinet Room of the White House on July 13, 2011, regarding the debt ceiling. (Associated Press)

Senate on record pace for sloth

Big issues are piling up in Congress, but halfway through the year, the Senate is on pace for its least productive legislative session since records were first kept, and the House is also operating at a clip well below normal, according to an analysis of floor activity by The Washington Times. Published July 14, 2011

** FILE ** A compact fluorescent light bulb (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

House turns out light on old-style bulbs

The incandescent light bulb failed to earn a last-minute reprieve in the House on Tuesday, leaving the old-style bulb still facing a government-imposed death sentence when new regulations kick in at the end of this year. Published July 12, 2011

Lawmakers agree Obama botched Libya action

Nearly everyone in Congress says President Obama has mishandled the war in Libya, but that's as far as the consensus goes — members of the Senate and, in particular, the House have struggled to find unity on ways to rein in his actions. Published July 11, 2011

President Obama delivers a statement on the monthly jobs report on July 8, 2011, in the Rose Garden of the White House. (Associated Press)

Feds' deficit streak hits record 33rd straight month

The federal government notched its 33rd straight month in the red in June, extending its record deficit streak to three times the previous low-water mark, according to preliminary estimates Friday from the Congressional Budget Office. Published July 8, 2011

House vote lets Obama continue U.S. Libya deployment

The House on Thursday gave implicit approval to President Obama to continue his deployment of American military forces to support the NATO mission in Libya, turning back repeated efforts to end U.S. involvement. Published July 7, 2011

Hill stalemate gives Obama free hand on Libya

Capitol Hill is keen to shape or even halt President Obama's troop deployment to Libya, but lawmakers' own inability to settle on a unified stance is undermining their efforts and leaving the president with a free hand to pursue the war his own way. Published July 6, 2011

President Obama makes a statement to reporters about debt ceiling negotiations on July 5, 2011, at the White House. (Associated Press)

Obama prods Congress on debt deal

President Obama on Tuesday called on Congress to "do something big" to reduce the federal budget deficit, spurned talk of a short-term deal with Republicans to raise the debt limit and invited leaders to come Thursday to the White House to revive negotiations. Published July 5, 2011

**FILE** President Obama addresses the Families USA 16th Annual Health Action Conference in Washington on Jan. 28, 2011. Families USA is an consumer advocacy health care organization. (Associated Press)

Appeals court upholds Obama's health care law

A federal appeals court on Wednesday ruled the individual mandate in the Democrats' health care law is constitutional, becoming the highest court to back the key part of President Obama's signature achievement. Published June 29, 2011

GOP wants Senate to cancel vacation

Frustrated with his former colleagues in Congress, President Obama on Wednesday demanded they stay in town next week to work on debt negotiations — and found unlikely allies in Senate Republicans, who said there were trying to force their chamber to cancel a vacation and remain in session. Published June 29, 2011

Harold Koh, a State Department lawyer, testifies during a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on Libya and the War Powers Resolution on Capitol Hill in Washington on Tuesday, June 28, 2011. (Drew Angerer/The Washington Times)

Senate panel OKs use of force in Libya

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee voted Tuesday to back President Obama's deployment of U.S. forces to Libya in a strong bipartisan vote that delivered a critical boost to a White House that has found itself under assault from Capitol Hill. Published June 28, 2011

House rebukes Obama on Libya but lets funding continue

The House defeated two competing measures Friday that would have given President Obama differing levels of authority to continue the war in Libya, signaling a majority want to limit the president but that there is no consensus yet on how to do it. Published June 24, 2011

Slaughter ban sending horses across borders

Congress imposed a back-door ban on horse slaughter in 2006 to try to improve humane conditions, but a new government report says it has backfired and the same horses are now being exported for slaughter in Canada and Mexico, and they likely are suffering more along the journey. Published June 23, 2011

Obama administration to let the oil flow

Seeking to cap summertime gas prices, the Obama administration said Thursday it will tap the country's strategic oil stockpiles for a temporary boost. Published June 23, 2011

Senate-House showdown draws near on Libya

Congress moved toward a showdown on President Obama's troop deployment in Libya, with two veteran senators on Tuesday introducing legislation to validate his moves and the House setting up competing votes, including one that would force him to end combat missions. Published June 21, 2011

Senators move to authorize Libya mission

Congress moved toward a showdown on President Obama's troop deployment in Libya, with two veteran senators on Tuesday introducing legislation to validate his moves and the House setting up competing votes, including one that would force him to end combat missions. Published June 21, 2011

Huntsman vows to be different GOP candidate

Painting himself as the sunny, optimistic Republican choice, former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr. on Tuesday officially joined the 2012 GOP presidential field, laying out a broad call to push through tough economic times, but with few specifics on how he would do so. Published June 21, 2011

Libya testing limits of War Powers Resolution

American unmanned aerial vehicles are making surgical strikes on Libyan targets, and U.S. forces have expended $400 million worth of munitions in defending the rebellion against Col. Moammar Gadhafi's forces, but the administration says that doesn't mean the country is at war — at least not for the purposes of the 1973 War Powers Resolution. Published June 20, 2011