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Stephen Dinan

Stephen Dinan

Stephen Dinan can be reached at [email protected].

Articles by Stephen Dinan

Dems finagle $1.9T rise in debt cap

It took legislative acrobatics and some hard swallowing by Democrats, but Congress on Thursday sent President Obama a bill that raises the country's borrowing level by a staggering $1.9 trillion to cover this year's record spending. Published February 5, 2010

'Holds' a two-edged sword for Obama

President Obama blasted Senate Republicans Wednesday for using "holds," a Senate tactic that delays consideration of nominees - even though as a senator he used the technique to block several of President George W. Bush's appointments. Published February 4, 2010

Global warming research grant in danger of fund freeze

A top member of Congress wants President Obama to freeze more than $500,000 in stimulus money going to a Penn State global warming researcher after the school said it was expanding an investigation into the professor's work. Published February 4, 2010

Obama critics seek to restore budget cuts

Even as they faulted President Obama for not cutting deeply enough in the budget he sent to Congress this week, Republicans and Democrats on Capitol Hill laid the groundwork Tuesday for all-out fights to try to add back more spending on defense and domestic priorities — and the administration already is warning of vetoes if some lines are crossed. Published February 3, 2010

Obama's budget knife takes smaller cuts

President Obama on Monday failed to heed his vow to take an ever-sharper scalpel to the budget during tough economic times, instead proposing $1 billion less in discretionary spending cuts than last year. Published February 2, 2010

Senate OKs new debt limit, raised by $1.9T

The all-Democrat vote will boost the U.S. government's borrowing power to a staggering $14.3 trillion, coming a day after Obama called on Congress to freeze much non-defense spending. Published January 29, 2010

Obama's barbs fuel partisan bickering

Republican lawmakers searched Thursday for ways to support President Obama, but said his calls for bipartisanship fell flat amidst his lecturing tone and the repeated barbs he aimed at them during his State of the Union address Wednesday night. Published January 29, 2010

Virgin Islands park bill advances

Hours before President Obama urged members of Congress to show spending restraint Wednesday, the House voted to authorize spending as much as $50 million to create a national historic site in the U.S. Virgin Islands on beachfront land the National Park Service isn't yet sure it wants. Published January 28, 2010

Stimulus price tag soars; jobless rate rises

The economic stimulus bill's price tag has risen to $862 billion, the Congressional Budget Office said Tuesday — a $75 billion jump partly that's a result in part to the fact that, despite the spending, joblessness has risen. Published January 27, 2010

Tab from stimulus program jumps, CBO says

UPDATED: The cost of the president's stimulus plan has jumped another $75 billion, and one reason is that more people are getting unemployment benefits because they've lost jobs the bill was supposed to preserve. Published January 26, 2010

Biden's son adds to Democrats' woes

The political environment got worse for Democrats on Monday when Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr.'s son said he'll pass on seeking his dad's former Senate seat in Delaware — the latest in a bad month for the struggling majority party. Published January 26, 2010

Biden's son won't run for Senate

Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden, the son of Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., announced Monday morning he will not run for the Senate seat his father used to hold, greatly increasing the odds that Republicans will capture the seat this fall. Published January 25, 2010

Virgin Islands land eyed for historic site

The National Park Service hasn't yet decided whether it wants beachfront land in the U.S. Virgin Islands for a new national historic site, but House Democrats for the second time in two weeks will try to push the Park Service to do it, at a potential eventual cost in the tens of millions of dollars. Published January 25, 2010

High court unleashes political ad spending

In a decision with profound implications for the role of money in American campaigns, the Supreme Court gave interest groups, unions and corporations the right to pour money into issue advertising in political races. Published January 22, 2010

O'Connor exit set stage for campaign ad ruling

Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. has either restored fundamental freedom or aided the destruction of American democracy, depending on how you see the Supreme Court's campaign-finance ruling Thursday. Published January 22, 2010

Divided court strikes down campaign money restrictions

Interest groups, unions and corporations are now allowed to pay for political ads, a Supreme Court decision that will carry profound implications for money's role in American campaigns. Published January 21, 2010

'Scott Brown' candidates rising up

As Washington struggled to discern a meaning from Massachusetts' special election, candidates outside the Beltway said one message is clear: Outsider, grass-roots campaigns that tap voters' anger at Washington arrogance will win in 2010. Published January 21, 2010

Tough reviews for Obama's first year

A year ago, Medea Benjamin, co-founder of anti-war protest group Code Pink, was seated on the Capitol's West Front, 100 feet from the inauguration stage, watching Barack Obama be sworn in as president. Published January 20, 2010