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Stephen Dinan

Stephen Dinan

Stephen Dinan can be reached at [email protected].

Articles by Stephen Dinan

**FILE** President Barack Obama (Associated Press)

Stimulus price tag once again lurches higher

Congress's chief scorekeeper said Wednesday that the price tag on President Obama's stimulus law has risen once again, this time to $830 billion — or more than $40 billion more than first projected. Published May 25, 2011

Stimulus recipients found to be tax cheats

One construction company that won multiple awards of money under President Obama's 2009 stimulus program was delinquent on its federal tax bill to the tune of $700,000, even as a company executive was blowing hundreds of thousands of dollars at casinos. Published May 24, 2011

IRS staff committed tax credit fraud

More than 100 employees of the Internal Revenue Service cheated the government by fraudulently claiming a first-time homebuyer tax credit included in the 2008 and 2009 economic stimulus packages, according to federal investigators. Published May 23, 2011

Senator holds up Salazar's pay raise over oil drilling

Thanks to a constitutional quirk, Interior Secretary Kenneth L. Salazar makes less than most of his colleagues in President Obama's Cabinet, and a Republican senator says he'll keep it that way, blocking a nearly $20,000 raise for the high-level appointee until the administration approves more deep-water oil drilling. Published May 22, 2011

Interior Secretary Salazar's pay hike spurs Senate fight

Thanks to a constitutional quirk, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar makes less than most of his colleagues in President Obama's Cabinet, and a Republican senator says he'll keep it that way, blocking a nearly $20,000 raise for the high-level appointee, until the administration approves more deep-water oil drilling. Published May 20, 2011

Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky speaks with reporters following a weekly Republican policy luncheon, at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, May 17, 2011. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

GOP's drilling bill is defeated easily

Republicans' oil drilling bill fell flat in the Senate on Wednesday, unable to garner even the support of all members of the GOP and underscoring the gridlock that prevails in Congress on energy issues. Published May 18, 2011

Senator questions benefits to 'adult baby'

A key senator has asked the Social Security Administration to investigate how people who live their lives role-playing as "adult babies" are able to get taxpayer-funded disability payments — after one of them was featured on a recent reality TV episode wearing diapers, feeding from a bottle and using an adult-sized crib he built. Published May 17, 2011

Liz Reitzig of Bowie (far left) and Karine Bouis-Towe of Takoma Park prepare to drink fresh milk from Morgan the cow at a rally at Upper Senate Park in the District on Monday. The organization Grassfed on the Hill held the rally to support Pennsylvania dairy farmer Dan Allgyer. (Barbara L. Salisbury/The Washington Times)

Mothers crying over raw milk

Four weeks after the government moved to shut down Amish farmer Dan Allgyer for selling fresh, unpasteurized milk across state lines, angry moms who made up much of his customer base rallied on the Capitol's grounds Monday to demand that Congress rein in the food police. Published May 16, 2011

** FILE ** Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington on Tuesday, March 1, 2011, before the House Financial Services Committee. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

Federal government hits $14T debt limit

The federal government officially bumped up against its borrowing limit Monday, an unhappy milestone that signals the beginning of a two-month sprint during which Congress and the White House will try to agree on whether to raise the debt ceiling while imposing spending restraints. Published May 16, 2011

Social Security deficits now 'permanent'

Social Security will run a permanent yearly deficit when looking at the program's tax revenues compared to what it must pay out in benefits, the program's trustees said Friday in a report that found both the outlook for Social Security and Medicare, the two major federal social safety-net programs, have worsened over the last year. Published May 13, 2011

Senators scold oil executives on Hill

With gas prices once again flirting with $4 a gallon nationally, Democratic senators called CEOs from the country's five major oil companies to Congress on Thursday for what has become a regular scolding over their high profits, and said the time has come to end tax breaks the industry enjoys. Published May 12, 2011

Obama says border is secure enough to begin legalization

Facing a political gridlock that has doomed immigration legislation for years, President Obama, making his first visit to the border since taking office, turned to activists and immigrant-rights supporters across the country Tuesday and said it's now up to them to force Congress to act. Published May 10, 2011

President Obama boards Air Force One at Andrews Air Force Base in Washington's Maryland suburbs on Tuesday, May 10, 2011, as he travels to the U.S.-Mexico border at El Paso, Texas, to speak about immigration reform. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

Obama to keep National Guard on border

President Obama will keep the National Guard on the U.S.-Mexico border past their current June deadline, agreeing to the demand by a number of border lawmakers who say having the military there deters illegal activity. Published May 10, 2011

Democrats hit Obama with gap on illegals

President Obama is pledging border security and pleading for help from Republicans as he steps up his campaign to pass an immigration reform bill, but new polling suggests the rift within his own party is actually deeper than within the GOP on the issue. Published May 9, 2011

**FILE** House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio gestures May 5 during his weekly news briefing on Capitol Hill. (Associated Press)

Boehner: Spending cuts must outweigh debt increase

Drawing a line on how far Republicans are willing to go in raising the nation's debt limit, House Speaker John A. Boehner said Monday that any increase must be accompanied by an even bigger cut in spending. Published May 9, 2011

Arizona takes immigration law to Supreme Court

Gov. Jan Brewer has asked the Supreme Court to overturn lower courts and reinstate Arizona's tough immigration law, saying the federal government continues to neglect the U.S.-Mexico border and states have to fill the gap. Published May 9, 2011

President Obama addresses military personnel who recently returned from Afghanistan on Friday, May 6, 2011, at Fort Campbell, Ky. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

Obama: Bin Laden raid is evidence Afghan strategy is working

President Obama capped off a week that began with him announcing the death of Osama bin Laden with a trip Friday to Fort Campbell in Kentucky to thank the Navy SEALs whose daring nighttime raid on a compound in Pakistan Sunday ended the decade-long hunt for the world's top terrorist. Published May 6, 2011

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

Higher taxes keep federal deficit in check

The federal government notched its 31st straight month in the red in April, though individual income tax receipts are "significantly" higher than expected and made the deficit smaller than it otherwise would have been, the Congressional Budget Office said Friday. Published May 6, 2011

Associated Press
House Speaker John A. Boehner said Thursday, "The sooner we begin to create more American energy, the sooner we'll be able to lower the prices."

House calls on Obama to issue drilling permits

With gas prices topping $4 a gallon, the House passed a bill Thursday that would order the Obama administration to issue offshore-drilling permits for leases it delayed or canceled in the wake of last year's Deep Horizon rig explosion in the Gulf of Mexico. Published May 5, 2011