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Stephen Dinan

Stephen Dinan

Stephen Dinan can be reached at [email protected].

Articles by Stephen Dinan

House Speaker John A. Boehner, Ohio Republican

Boehner: Congress will undo contraception rule

House Speaker John A. Boehner said Wednesday his fellow Republicans are already working on legislation to undo President Obama's new health care rule forcing religiously affiliated institutions to provide insurance coverage for contraception, sterilization and other procedures they may morally oppose. Published February 8, 2012

BIG MOMENT: Children wait to shake hands with Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney at a campaign rally in Loveland, Colo., on Tuesday, a day for caucuses in Colorado and Minnesota. Critics say it's time to take a look at the value of caucuses. (Associated Press)

Voters rebelling against caucuses

As dozens of voters roamed the hallways of Green Valley High School in Henderson, Nev., on Saturday looking for their caucus precincts, one woman summed up the experience: "We should have a primary." Published February 7, 2012

Newly printed $20 notes are seen at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing in Washington. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite) ** FILE **

Government runs deficit for 40th straight month

The federal government ran a deficit for the 40th straight month in January, according to the latest estimate from Congress' scorekeeper, continuing a record streak that dates back to the end of the George W. Bush administration and covers every month President Obama has been in office. Published February 7, 2012

Republican presidential candidate former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, shakes hands, as a Ron Paul supporter, right, carries a campaign sign behind Santorum, during a campaign stop at the Bemidji, Minn., Woolen Mills store, the manufacturer of the official Santorum for president sweater vest. Sunday, Feb. 5, 2012. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

Romney rivals brush off losses in Nevada

Mitt Romney's victory in Nevada's Republican presidential caucuses Saturday set him up for a delegate-rich run through February, but did nothing to whittle down the field of four who say there's plenty of time to catch up. Published February 5, 2012

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney greets supporters at his Nevada caucus victory celebration in Las Vegas on Saturday, Feb. 4, 2012. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

Romney wins Nevada, builds momentum for February

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney powered to his second straight victory in the Republican presidential nomination battle Saturday, easily winning Nevada's caucuses and building momentum likely to carry him through this month's series of contests. Published February 4, 2012

Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, greets supporters at a campaign rally in Henderson, Nev., Friday, Feb. 3, 2012. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

Romney seeks to maintain momentum in Nevada vote

It was chaos, but voting began Saturday in Nevada's Republican presidential caucuses as Mitt Romney sought to continue his momentum and three other candidates tried to derail his bid. Published February 4, 2012

Senators join suits on recess appointments

Republican senators said this week they will file papers supporting lawsuits trying to overturn President Obama's recess appointments and demanding that the Senate's top Democrat explain his own change of heart on the constitutional questions raised by the president's move. Published February 2, 2012

Republican presidential candidate and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich speaks Feb. 2, 2012, at Xtreme Manufacturing in Las Vegas. (Associated Press)

Nevadans feel their issues ignored

Nevada fought hard to be the first Western state to vote in the Republican presidential primary, offering the chance to break out of East Coast issues and let candidates hone their appeals to the Wild West on everything from water rights to nuclear energy. So far, that just hasn't happened. Published February 2, 2012


Hispanics out West a tougher sell for Romney

Mitt Romney took a hard line on illegal immigration, was labeled anti-immigrant and had a national network of Hispanic Republicans come out against him, yet he won Florida's primary by carrying more than half of Hispanics who voted - better than he did among whites. Published February 1, 2012

** FILE ** Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney celebrates his Florida primary election win at the Tampa Convention Center in Tampa, Fla., on Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2012. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

Romney wins big among Hispanics in Florida primary

Mitt Romney took a hard-line position on immigration into the Florida primary Tuesday and emerged victorious, signaling that his stance isn't costing him yet, though it could still be a problem if he's the GOP's presidential nominee in November. Published February 1, 2012

Republican presidential candidate former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum speaks during a Tea Party rally Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2012, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Gurzinski)

Candidates head to Nevada for caucuses

After three big primaries that seemed to write, rewrite and then re-rewrite the 2012 GOP campaign storyline, the candidates now begin a stretch run where four of the next five contests are caucuses. Published January 31, 2012

**FILE** Congressional Budget Office Director Douglas Elmendorf (Associated Press)

Budget chief: Big challenges, 'worrisome trends' for U.S.

After years of putting off big decisions the federal government faces daunting budget challenges this year, according to Congress's chief scorekeeper, which said Tuesday that continued high unemployment, low tax rates and above-average spending are creating a volatile mixture. Published January 31, 2012

CBO says federal employees rake in much more pay

Buoyed by generous benefit packages, federal workers earn significantly better compensation than similarly educated workers in the private sector, according to a report released Monday from Congress' chief scorekeeper that threatens to reignite at the national level last year's state battles over public-employee rights. Published January 30, 2012

Sen. Kirsten E. Gillibrand, New York Democrat (Associated Press) ** FILE **

Bill would ban using Hill data for profit

Moving quickly on at least a part of President Obama's State of the Union program, Senate Democrats will hold their first vote Monday on a bill to prevent members of Congress from profiting from inside knowledge gained through their official duties. Published January 26, 2012

Sen. Max Baucus, Montana Democrat

Senate clears way for hike to $16.4T debt limit

The debt fight that dominated Congress last year whimpered to a close Thursday as the Senate voted to clear the way for President Obama to raise the federal government's borrowing limit by another $1.2 trillion to $16.4 trillion, which he hopes will last past the November election. Published January 26, 2012

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Kentucky Republican, talks Jan. 24, 2012, to reporters on Capitol Hill following the Republicans' weekly strategy session. (Associated Press)

Senate paves way for final debt increase

The debt fight that dominated Congress last year whimpered to a close Thursday as the Senate voted to clear the way for President Obama to raise the federal government's borrowing limit by another $1.2 trillion to $16.4 trillion, which he hopes will last past the November election. Published January 26, 2012

Democrats press for Koch testimony on Keystone XL

Democrats demanded Wednesday that Koch Industries officials testify before Congress about whether they have any financial stake in the Keystone XL pipeline, as President Obama's allies sought to limit political damage from his decision this month to reject the project. Published January 25, 2012

Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (center), Arizona Democrat, is greeted by Rep. Jeff Flake, Arizona Republican, and Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Florida Democrat, before President Obama's State of the Union address to Congress on Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2012, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Saul Loeb, Pool)

Giffords exits, but legacy of cooperation could remain

Rep. Gabrielle Giffords had been through State of the Union addresses before. But it was the speech she missed last year where her presence was felt most — and has given her a chance at a lasting legacy. Published January 24, 2012

Inability to sway undecideds hurt Romney

Mitt Romney on Sunday downplayed his collapse in South Carolina's primary over the weekend, saying winner Newt Gingrich had "a good week." But the results of the vote show the former Massachusetts governor still hasn't overcome his problems with conservative voters searching for any candidate but him. Published January 22, 2012