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Ben Wolfgang

Ben Wolfgang

Ben Wolfgang covers the White House for The Washington Times.

Before joining the Times in March 2011, Ben spent four years as a political reporter at the Republican-Herald in Pottsville, Pa.

He can be reached at

Articles by Ben Wolfgang

Attorney General-designate Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., is surrounded by security as he walks on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2017,  as the Senate Judiciary Committee prepares to advance his nomination. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Controversial Cabinet picks pass first test in Senate

President Trump's picks to lead the Justice, Treasury and Health and Human Services departments -- some of his most controversial nominations -- survived their first test votes on the Senate floor Thursday, putting each of them on track to win full confirmation over the next couple of weeks. Published February 2, 2017

From left: Republican Sens. John Cornyn of Texas, Orrin G. Hatch of Utah and Chuck Grassley of Iowa confer on Wednesday after the Judiciary Committee, after angry partisan exchanges, voted to approve the nomination of Jeff Sessions as attorney general. (Associated Press)

Battle over Cabinet signals Democratic resistance to Trump

Senate business ground to a halt Wednesday as Democrats and Republicans turned to hardball tactics in the fight over President Trump's Cabinet nominees, signaling the wall of opposition the administration is likely to face for the foreseeable future. Published February 1, 2017

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator-designate, Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington at his confirmation hearing before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee on Jan. 18, 2017. (Associated Press) **FILE**

Democrats boycott vote on EPA nominee Scott Pruitt

Senate Democrats on Wednesday boycotted a committee vote on Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, President Trump's pick to lead the Environmental Protection Agency. Published February 1, 2017

FILE - In this Jan. 18, 2017 file photo, President Barack Obama speaks during his final presidential news conference, in the briefing room of the White House in Washington. A spokesman for Obama says the former president "fundamentally disagrees" with discrimination that targets people based on their religion. The statement alluded to but did not specifically mention President Donald Trump's temporary ban on refugees from several Muslim-majority countries. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)

Republicans take aim at Obama's Stream Protection Rule policy

Congressional Republicans have formally kicked off their campaign to roll back pieces of former President Obama's environmental agenda — but progressive activists are mounting fierce resistance to their efforts. Published January 30, 2017

Greenpeace demonstrators used a crane to hang a banner near the White House last week. It was one part of a multipronged strategy to combat the Trump administration's purported war against the science of climate change. (Associated Press)

Green groups target Trump with guerrilla warfare campaign

With their traditional political power diminished, environmental activists have launched an unprecedented guerrilla warfare campaign against President Trump -- and analysts say such efforts will only grow in intensity over the coming weeks and months. Published January 29, 2017

President Obama left behind unfinished business on the environment, and Republicans emboldened by President Trump are gearing up to reverse many of the former administration's signature initiatives. (Associated Press)

Trump to set environmental agenda, not his Cabinet or lawmakers

Top Republicans are shifting the climate change debate away from the human role and toward a more pragmatic discussion over what government can do about it -- but it's increasingly clear that President Trump, not his Cabinet nor lawmakers, will be setting the environmental agenda. Published January 25, 2017

Travelers arrive at the Oceti Sakowin camp where people have gathered to protest the Dakota Access oil pipeline as they walk into a tent next to an upside-down american flag in Cannon Ball, N.D., in this Dec. 4, 2016, file photo. (AP Photo/David Goldman File)

Trump revives oil pipeline projects, demands U.S. steel used

President Trump resurrected the Keystone XL and Dakota Access oil pipelines Tuesday, thrilling labor unions and advocates for domestic energy but outraging environmentalists and American Indians whose protests persuaded the Obama administration to kill both projects. Published January 24, 2017

Energy Secretary-designate, former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 19, 2017, at his confirmation hearing before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Rick Perry disavows Trump team questionnaire on climate change

Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry on Thursday blasted a questionnaire from the Trump transition team to the Energy Department that sought information on which employees worked on federal climate change programs, saying he's not interested in singling out agency employees. Published January 19, 2017

Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry smiles as he leaves Trump Tower in New York in this Dec. 12, 2016, file photo. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens, File)

Rick Perry: 'I regret' calling for the elimination of the Energy Department

As he tries to convince the Senate to put him in charge of the Energy Department, former Texas Gov. Rick Perry told lawmakers Thursday that he was wrong to recommend eliminating that same department and stressed that it plays a vital role in energy development, scientific research, nuclear security and in other areas. Published January 19, 2017