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Stephen Dinan

Stephen Dinan

Stephen Dinan can be reached at [email protected].

Articles by Stephen Dinan

**FILE** Rep. Mike Rogers, Alabama Republican (Associated Press)

Talk of pork revival tempts lawmakers on Capitol Hill

When Rep. Mike Rogers publicly suggested last week that Congress reconsider its ban on pork-barrel spending, the Alabama Republican probably didn't know what he was stepping into. Published April 2, 2012

Congress puts Obama recess power to the test

Congress is taking its first real recess in nearly a year after the House and Senate agreed on Friday to a two-week adjournment for Easter - and a test of whether President Obama will abide by an agreement not to make any recess appointments while lawmakers are gone. Published April 1, 2012

**FILE** House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, Virginia Republican, speaks Jan. 31, 2012, during a news conference on Capitol Hill. (Associated Press)

Massachusetts militia scores another victory over Virginia

Lawmakers from Massachusetts managed to outflank their Virginia counterparts on the House floor last week, powering through a bill that officially designates Salem as the birthplace of the U.S. National Guard — based on the town's claim to having the country's first militia starting in 1629. Published April 1, 2012

**FILE** House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, California Republican (Associated Press)

Congressional recess tests White House deal

Congress is taking its first real recess in nearly a year after the House and Senate agreed on Friday to a two-week adjournment for Easter — and a test of whether President Obama will abide by an agreement not to make any recess appointments while lawmakers are gone. Published March 30, 2012

Rep. Paul Ryan, Wisconsin Republican (Associated Press)

House rejects Bowles-Simpson, Obama budgets

The Bowles-Simpson deficit-reduction plan went down to a crushing defeat in the House late Wednesday night in a vote that damages the one bipartisan proposal that just a few months ago had seemed like a possible solution to the country's debt woes. Published March 28, 2012

Rep. Ron Paul of Texas, a Republican presidential candidate, talks to reporters after a rally at the University of Missouri in Columbia earlier this month. Mr. Paul has been in the House chamber for just nine of the 142 votes taken through Wednesday afternoon. He isn't running for re-election to his Texas congressional seat. (Associated Press)

Paul puts campaign before duty

Rep. Ron Paul has missed 93 percent of all floor votes in Congress this year as he's focused on his presidential bid, even as he's kept one of the lighter campaign schedules of any of the candidates. Published March 28, 2012

**FILE** Rep. Doc Hastings, Washington Republican (Associated Press)

Republicans vote to subpoena oil moratorium documents

House Republicans voted Wednesday to authorize congressional subpoenas demanding the Obama administration turn over documents it has refused to turn over in two investigations, including one looking at the post-Gulf of Mexico drilling moratorium. Published March 28, 2012

Lauren Kurtz (left), a George Washington student who supports President Obama's health care law, and Keli Carender, a Seattle resident against the law, demonstrate outside the Supreme Court on Tuesday. The justices were hearing arguments on the law's individual mandate. (Barbara L. Salisbury/The Washington Times)

Obama's tax plea gets rude reception

While the fate of President Obama's health care law remains an open question, the Supreme Court was far more clear on one issue Tuesday: The law's backers won't be able to justify the individual mandate to purchase health insurance by pointing to Congress' taxing powers. Published March 27, 2012

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell

Senate GOP sets stage for energy debate

Eager for a debate they believe will highlight rising gas prices on President Obama's watch, Senate Republicans on Monday gave the green light to debating Democrats' plan to end tax subsidies for oil and gas companies. Published March 26, 2012

Protesters in support of undocumented youth march March 14, 2012, in Philadelphia from Love Park to the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement office. (Associated Press)

DHS: Illegal immigrant population is 11.5 million

About 11.5 million illegal immigrants were in the U.S. last year, a figure that was essentially unchanged from 2010, according to the latest estimate the Homeland Security Department released Friday. Published March 23, 2012

Syrian Army soldiers shout slogans and hold up portraits of Syrian President Bashar Assad during a pro-regime rally in Damascus, Syria, on March 23, 2012. (Associated Press)

Obama administration grants protected status to Syrians

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano on Friday said she will grant special status to Syrians currently in the U.S., allowing them to stay here past their current visas while their home country remains in turmoil. Published March 23, 2012

** FILE ** This Dec. 26, 2011 file photo shows New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton during an NFL game against the Atlanta Falcons. The NFL has suspended Payton for the 2012 season, and former Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams is banned from the league indefinitely because of the team's bounty program that targeted opposing players. (AP Photo/Rusty Costanza, File)

Senate to hold hearings on NFL 'bounties'

The Senate will hold hearings looking into "bounties" one NFL team paid its players to injure opponents, a top lawmaker announced Thursday, bringing the football scandal to the halls of Congress. Published March 22, 2012

Rep. John A. Yarmuth, Kentucky Democrat (Associated Press)

'Buffett rule' fails its first test in Congress

House Republicans on the Budget Committee on Wednesday rejected an effort to impose the "Buffett rule" tax on Americans, arguing it would stifle investment without doing any work to lower the deficit. Published March 21, 2012

Rep. Paul Ryan, Wisconsin Republican, speaks about his budget plan during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington on Tuesday, March 20, 2012. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

Ryan budget shoots for lower deficit, flatter tax

Rep. Paul Ryan, chairman of the House Budget Committee, presented his colleagues Tuesday a sweeping rewrite of the federal budget that would move toward a flatter income tax and dramatically cut spending, balancing the budget in the long run by holding down the growth of Medicare and shrinking Medicaid. Published March 20, 2012

President Obama delivers remarks on energy on March, 15, 2012, in Largo, Md. (Associated Press)

CBO: Obama budget deepens debt by $3.5 trillion

President Obama's budget would pile up an additional $3.5 trillion in debt over the next 10 years and shows the government's trust funds running out of money in 2020, Congress's official non-partisan scorekeeper said Friday. Published March 16, 2012

U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint, South Carolina Republican. (AP photo)

Stay keeps lawyers out of the pool for 60 days

The Justice Department on Thursday issued a 60-day stay for hundreds of thousands of public pools that had been required to install ramps and wheelchair lifts by today or else face lawsuits over violating disability laws. Published March 15, 2012