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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 bwolfgang@washingtontimes.com.

Articles by Ben Wolfgang

President Barack Obama tours the U.S. Steel Irvin Plant, Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014, in West Mifflin, Pa., before speaking about retirement policies he highlighted in the State of the Union address. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Obama creates 'MyRa' accounts

At the second stop of his post-State of the Union road trip, President Obama on Wednesday officially established a new retirement plan for working Americans and promised his broader economic agenda will help rebuild a struggling middle class. Published January 29, 2014

President Barack Obama gives his State of the Union address on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday Jan. 28, 2014, as Vice President Joe Biden and House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio, listen. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

Obama throws in towel on global-warming legislation

President Obama came to office promising significant action to fight climate change, and Tuesday night's State of the Union indicates this administration fully recognizes any action on that issue over the next three years will come not through legislation but through regulations and executive actions. Rather than call for a "comprehensive energy and climate bill" as he did in 2010, Mr. Obama on Tuesday focused on much smaller goals and touted the controversial efforts of his Environmental Protection Agency to cut down on carbon emissions from power plants. Published January 28, 2014

**FILE** NBA center Jason Collins poses during the Boston Celtics' media day at the team's training facility in Waltham, Mass., on Sept. 28, 2012. (Associated Press)

Openly gay NBA player Jason Collins to be guest of Michelle Obama

Jason Collins, who last year became the first male player in major American team sports to come out as gay, will be one of first lady Michelle Obama's guests for Tuesday night's State of the Union address, the White House announced Monday. Published January 27, 2014

White House press secretary Jay Carney gestures as he speaks during the daily briefing at the White House in Washington, Monday, Jan. 27, 2014. Carney discussed Syria, security for the Sochi Olympics, and other topics.  (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

White House: Don't judge Obama by what Congress does

Average Americans rightfully are frustrated with Congress, White House press secretary Jay Carney said Monday, but they should not decide whether President Obama's time in office has been a success or a failure based solely on "the amount of legislation that passes" the House and Senate. Published January 27, 2014

Interior Secretary Sally Jewell kept press out of a meeting in Colorado to ensure an "open and frank conversation," said her spokesman. (ASSOCIATED PRESS)

Reporters barred from Interior Department event

The Obama administration's testy relationship with the press is nothing new for Washington, but it's now extended to Colorado and has touched off a firestorm after Interior Department officials booted local reporters from a public meeting last week. Published January 26, 2014

Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell speaks to members of the Outdoor Industry Association at a trade show for outdoor gear makers Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2014, in Salt Lake City. Jewell made a pitch Wednesday for a privately funded youth conservation corps and sought donations for the effort from executives at an outdoor-gear trade show. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

Colorado firestorm: Administration bars scribes from public meeting

The Obama administration's testy relationship with the press is nothing new in Washington, but it's now extended to Colorado and has touched off a firestorm after Interior Department officials booted local reporters from a public meeting earlier this week. Published January 24, 2014

"My aim is to make sure that energy remains affordable for households and companies," says Gunther Oettinger, energy commissioner for the European Commission. Leaders in the European Union are revamping their approach to climate change because higher energy costs have not sit well with consumers in a struggling economy. (Associated Press)

Ambitious climate change goals too costly for EU

With "unintended consequences" of its ambitious agenda being felt in sluggish economies across the Continent, the European Union on Wednesday made a dramatic retreat from its climate change goals. Published January 22, 2014

President Obama will meet with Pope Francis at the Vatican as part of a European trip scheduled for March. The White House says Mr. Obama "looks forward to discussing with Pope Francis their shared commitment to fighting poverty and growing inequality" during their March 27 meeting. (Associated Press)

Obama to meet with Pope Francis, a pontiff that even Democrats can embrace

Since Francis denounced "trickle-down economics" and income inequality in November, Mr. Obama and top congressional Democrats have used those words as ammunition in their push for a minimum-wage hike, an unconditional extension of long-term jobless aid and other goals that Republicans have resisted. Published January 21, 2014

FILE - In this Dec. 20, 2013 file photo, President Barack Obama speaks during an end-of-the year news conference in the Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House in Washington. Capping a monthslong review, Obama is expected to back modest changes to the government’s surveillance network at home and abroad while largely leaving the framework of the controversial programs in place, including the bulk collection of phone records from millions of Americans.  (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)

Obama to continue modified NSA meta-data gathering program

President Obama on Friday will announce some changes to how data gathered by the National Security Agency is stored but will allow the collection of that information to continue, according to multiple media reports. Published January 17, 2014

President Obama speaks at Justice Department headquarters in D.C. on Friday.

Obama calls for immediate checks, long-term changes to NSA snooping

The NSA will now have to go to a judge before snooping through Americans' phone records, President Obama announced Friday as he set an eventual goal of prying the phone metadata information away from the intelligence community altogether. Published January 17, 2014