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Stephen Dinan

Stephen Dinan

Stephen Dinan can be reached at [email protected].

Articles by Stephen Dinan

** FILE ** Douglas W. Elmendorf, director of the Congressional Budget Office. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)

CBO says jobless benefits encourage joblessness

Generous unemployment benefits are a great way to boost the economy in the short term but are leading hundreds of thousands of workers to stay out of the workforce longer than they would otherwise, according to the latest report by Congress's official scorekeeper. Published February 16, 2012

CASA de Maryland faces challenge over tax-exempt status

A public interest group that pushes for immigration controls has asked Maryland to investigate the tax-exempt status of CASA de Maryland, a high-profile immigrant rights group that the Immigration Reform Law Institute says repeatedly engaged in political advocacy, breaking the law governing nonprofits. Published February 14, 2012

President Barack Obama speaks about the "Community College to Career Fund" and his 2013 budget, Monday, Feb. 13, 2012, at Northern Virginia Community College in Annandale, Va. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Social Security reserves forecast to run dry in 2022

Social Security's bank account will go bust in 2022 — the first time the program's combined trust funds will run a deficit, according to President Obama's budget released Monday. Published February 13, 2012

**FILE** Morgan the cow stops to eat grass on her way to being milked at a rally held by Grassfed on the Hill at Upper Senate Park in Washington on May 16, 2011. The rally was held to protest the sting operation the FDA conducted against Pennsylvania dairy farmer Daniel Allgyer and his private buying customers. (Barbara L. Salisbury/The Washington Times)

Feds shut down Amish farm for selling fresh milk

The FDA has won its two-year fight to shut down an Amish farmer who was selling fresh, raw milk to eager consumers in the Washington region, after a judge this month banned Daniel Allgyer from selling his milk across state lines, and he told his customers he'll shut his farm down altogether. Published February 13, 2012

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney speaks at a caucus, Saturday, Feb. 11, 2012, in Portland, Maine. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)

Romney wins Maine caucuses by slim margin

Mitt Romney won Maine's caucuses on Saturday, with the announcement coming just hours after he also won The Washington Times/CPAC Presidential Straw Poll in Washington — a one-two punch that boosts him during the next two weeks, when there are no more contests. Published February 11, 2012

** FILE ** Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, the front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination, speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at the Marriott Wardman Park in Washington on Friday, Feb. 10, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)

Romney wins The Washington Times/CPAC Straw Poll in 2012

Mitt Romney won The Washington Times/CPAC Presidential Straw Poll on Saturday, and also nipped Rick Santorum as the top choice of conservatives nationwide, according to a new version of the poll conducted for the first time this year that suggests Mr. Romney retains strong support among self-identified conservatives. Published February 11, 2012

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