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Stephen Dinan

Stephen Dinan

Stephen Dinan can be reached at [email protected].

Articles by Stephen Dinan

Obama rules out back-door legalization of immigrants

President Obama said Monday that he does not have the power to suspend deportations, putting the nail in a plan some administration officials had explored that could have granted de-facto legal status to hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants. Published March 28, 2011

Little progress as shutdown deadline looms

Congress gave itself a three-week reprieve on a government shutdown, then spent the first 10 days on vacation. Now, lawmakers return with the shutdown deadline once again looming, and a deal seemingly as far away as ever. Published March 27, 2011

POWERED DOWN: The alternate engine for the F-35 jet has been halted by a 90-day stop-work order. (Associated Press)

Obama wins F-35 engine battle with Congress

The F-35 fighter jet's alternate engine has survived White House veto threats and knock-down congressional budget battles, but on Thursday the Pentagon finally said it is halting spending — delivering a major, albeit short-term, victory to President Obama. Published March 24, 2011

Boehner seeks clarification of goals for Libya mission

With some members of Congress already staging a minor rebellion against President Obama's decision to attack Libya, House Speaker John A. Boehner on Wednesday blasted the administration for "contradictory" statements and told the president to lay out concrete goals for U.S. action. Published March 23, 2011

A woman walks through a deserted hallway of the U.S. Capitol on Monday. Despite the fact that the United States began attacking Libya a few days ago, lawmakers have been away for 10 days. (Barbara L. Salisbury/The Washington Times)

Capitol Hill falls silent as Libya war rages

The world is at war, but Washington is eerily empty, devoid of all the power players who normally foster a soul-searching debate when the country goes on the attack. Published March 21, 2011

CBO: Obama's budget doesn't reach primary balance

Congress' chief scorekeeper says President Obama's budget never achieves primary balance, the key measure the White House said would show the country is living within its means. Published March 18, 2011

Hill extends temporary funding, OKs a vacation

Congress on Thursday pushed a government shutdown back another three weeks then approved taking a vacation next week, leaving the hard work of striking a long-term deal for another day. Published March 17, 2011

Budget-busting station named for Biden

As a thank-you to its most famous customer, Amtrak is renaming the train station in Wilmington, Del., after stimulus "sheriff" Vice President Joseph R. Biden — after the project received $20 million in stimulus money and came in $5.7 million over the initial announced budget. Published March 17, 2011

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, Virginia Republican (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

House votes to strip funding for NPR

The Republican-dominated House on Thursday voted to block taxpayer funding for National Public Radio programming, dealing another blow to the broadcasting network that already is reeling from a yearlong series of missteps. Published March 17, 2011

Congress passes second bill to avert shutdown

Congress on Thursday pushed a government shutdown back another three weeks then approved taking a vacation next week, leaving the hard work of striking a long-term deal for another day. Published March 17, 2011

GAO's report on waste suddenly a Hill must-read

Move over, Tom Clancy — the newest thriller to go viral, at least by federal government report standards, is the Government Accountability Office's just-published look at waste and duplication in federal agencies. Published March 15, 2011

Democrats key for passage of spending bill

Facing a rebellion among their conservative members, House Republicans had to turn to Democrats on Tuesday to pass a short-term spending bill that will delay a government shutdown by three weeks. Published March 15, 2011

Napolitano: Slain agent wasn't unarmed

Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was armed with a pistol and a rifle during the December gunbattle with border bandits that cost him his life, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said in a letter last week meant to counter lingering questions about the agent's death. Published March 11, 2011

Congress readies new stopgap spending bill

Looking to avert a March 18 government shutdown, Congressional leaders have written another short-term spending bill that moves that deadline back three weeks while cutting additional billions of dollars from last year's spending. Published March 11, 2011

Utah Legislature goes for gold, silver as currency options

The Utah Legislature on Thursday passed a bill allowing gold and silver coins to be used as legal tender in the state — and for the value of their precious metal, not just the face value of the coins. Published March 10, 2011

In key test, GOP plan bests Democrats'

Republicans' plan to make $57 billion in deep spending cuts won more support than Democrats' $4.7 billion shallow cuts proposal in competing Senate votes Wednesday, though neither gained anywhere near enough support to pass. Published March 9, 2011

Napolitano: Agents can use lethal force

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano told a congressional panel Wednesday that U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry and his fellow agents were not under orders to refrain from using lethal force in a December gunbattle near the Mexican border that resulted in Mr. Terry's death. Published March 9, 2011

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Nevada Democrat, speaks to reporters after his party's weekly policy luncheon on Capitol Hill on Tuesday. (Associated Press)

Senate set to kill parties' competing spending-cut bills

House Republicans said Tuesday they will likely have to write another short-term spending bill to avert a government shutdown on March 18, as a deal over funding the final seven months of the fiscal year remained elusive. Published March 8, 2011