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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

US Park Police officers stand in front of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, Tuesday, Oct. 1, 2013, as it was closed to visitors. Congress plunged the nation into a partial government shutdown Tuesday as a long-running dispute over President Barack Obama's health care law stalled a temporary funding bill, forcing about 800,000 federal workers off the job and suspending most non-essential federal programs and services. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Obama accepts no blame for shutdown

President Obama on Tuesday laid the blame for the government shutdown entirely on congressional Republicans, rejecting any responsibility for the stalemate and calling it "a Republican shutdown" caused by spite over Obamacare. Published October 1, 2013

** FILE ** Western Michigan University student Alenna Brown ,19, leaves with her new iPhone 5 in Kalamazoo, Mich., Sept. 21, 2012. (Associated Press)

Obama: Health plan's glitches akin to those of iPhone 5 rollout

Continuing his attack on Republicans for their determination to repeal his health care reform law, President Obama on Tuesday compared the ongoing federal budget stalemate to Apple's roll-out of its most recent operating system. Published October 1, 2013

White House press secretary Jay Carney gestures while speaking during his daily news briefing at the White House in Washington on Monday, Sept. 30, 2013. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

White House keeps pressure on House GOP

With a federal shutdown looming, the White House on Monday continued to pressure House Republicans and flatly stated that any government closure will be the fault of the GOP's tea party "faction." Published September 30, 2013

President Barack Obama speaks in the James Brady Briefing room of the White House in Washington, Monday, Sept. 30, 2013. Obama said a government shutdown would throw a wrench into the gears of U.S. economy. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Obama: Shutdown would hamper economy, but Obamacare can't be stopped

With lawmakers seemingly deadlocked and a federal government shutdown just hours away, President Obama on Monday afternoon bluntly laid out the consequences if Congress fails to act — and accused House Republicans of trying to "extract a ransom" to keep Washington up and running. Published September 30, 2013

** FILE ** Second-grader Jonathan Cheng (center) looks at fruits and vegetables during a school lunch at Fairmeadow Elementary School in Palo Alto, Calif., on Dec. 2, 2010. (Associated Press)

New lunch regulations are too hard to swallow for many schools

More than 500 schools have dropped out of the federal school lunch program since new guidelines went into effect 12 months ago, a sign of still-smoldering discontent with the ambitious rewrite of what the nation's schoolchildren find on their lunch trays. Published September 30, 2013

U.S. drug industry upset with Indian policies on patents

India's handling of intellectual property rights and patents has raised the ire of lawmakers on Capitol Hill, governors from across the nation, business leaders and pharmaceutical giants — and if that path continues, analysts say, the economic relationship between the two nations may come to a grinding halt. Published September 26, 2013

President Obama speaks during a luncheon hosted by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in honor of Heads of State and Government at the United Nations headquarters in New York on Sept. 24, 2013. (Associated Press)

Iranian president brushes away Obama's olive branch at U.N.

President Obama used his annual address to the United Nations on Tuesday to say he sees an opening for diplomacy with Iran and would pursue a deal to stop the Islamic republic's pursuit of nuclear weapons — but his words were soon overshadowed by the handshake that wasn't. Published September 24, 2013

** FILE ** U.S. President Barack Obama, right, speaks with Russia's President Vladimir Putin during arrivals for the G-20 summit at the Konstantin Palace in St. Petersburg, Russia on Thursday, Sept. 5, 2013. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)

Obama hits back at Putin: 'America is exceptional'

Addressing the United Nations on Tuesday, President Obama shot back at his Russian counterpart and stated, in no uncertain terms, that America will continue to be a global leader. Published September 24, 2013

Iranian President Hasan Rouhani speaks during an interview with state television at the presidency in Tehran on Tuesday, Sept. 10, 2013. (Associated Press/Presidency Office, Rouzbeh Jadidoleslam)

White House: Still no Obama-Rouhani meeting scheduled

As President Obama arrived in New York ahead of his planned Tuesday speech to the U.N. General Assembly, a key outstanding question is whether he'll sit down with new Iranian President Hasan Rouhani, a meeting that potentially could signal a shift in relations between the two nations. Published September 23, 2013

President Obama, flanked by Mongolia's President Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj (left) and Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations Jan Eliasson, attends a roundtable event Monday in New York. (ASSOCIATED PRESS)

Obama confronts power politics at United Nations

As he came to office in 2009, President Obama looked to the United Nations as a vehicle to drive change in the Middle East and around the world. Four years later, the international body remains, as its critics long have suggested, more of an obstacle to action than a leader of it. Published September 23, 2013

Syria and Iran are just two of the global issues facing President Obama as he prepares to address the United Nations General Assembly this week. (ASSOCIATED PRESS)

Obama faces host of challenges during high-stakes U.N. trip

Syria's chemical weapons program, how to deal with a new Iranian regime and tense Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations are just some of the issues that will confront President Obama as he travels to New York this week for a highly anticipated address to the United Nations General Assembly. Published September 22, 2013

Ron Binz (From Ron Binz' Public Policy Consulting website)

Energy nominee Ron Binz loses voltage with contradictions, Obama coal rules

President Obama's nominee to a top energy post is hanging on by a thread after a poor performance last week at a confirmation hearing where he failed to win over key supporters and even appeared to have misled a Senate committee about his record of support for a coal-fired energy plant. Published September 22, 2013

Sen. Ted Cruz, Texas Republican (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Blame game heats up as start of shutdown looms

With little more than a week before a budget stalemate over Obamacare sets off a government shutdown, Democrats and Republicans dug in deeper Sunday, with lawmakers increasingly looking, pre-emptively, to pin blame on the other side. Published September 22, 2013

** FILE ** Sen. Joe Manchin III (right), West Virginia Democrat, accompanied by Sen. Patrick J. Toomey, Pennsylvania Republican, announces on Wednesday, April 10, 2013, on Capitol Hill in Washington that they have reached a bipartisan deal on expanding background checks to more gun buyers. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

As Navy Yard families mourn, Obama pushes gun control

On the same day that lawmakers acknowledged that any attempt to crack down on firearms stands virtually no chance on Capitol Hill, President Obama made his strongest plea to date on the need to confront gun violence. Published September 22, 2013

President Obama addresses the nation in a live televised speech from the East Room of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, Sept. 10, 2013. President Obama blended the threat of military action with the hope of a diplomatic solution as he works to strip Syria of its chemical weapons. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, Pool)

At Navy Yard memorial, Obama renews call for gun control

Making perhaps his strongest case to date for gun-control, President Obama on Sunday said the U.S. cannot continue to accept mass shootings like the one seen at the Washington Navy Yard last week. Published September 22, 2013

President Obama announces his choices (from left) of MIT physics professor Ernest Moniz for energy secretary, Gina McCarthy to head the Environmental Protection Agency, and Wal-Mart Foundation President Sylvia Mathews Burwell to head the Office of Management and Budget during a ceremony Monday in the East Room of the White House. (Associated Press)

EPA coal rules tighter than expected, will fuel backlash in Congress

The Environmental Protection Agency's dramatic new power plant emissions standards already have touched off a firestorm within the coal industry and on Capitol Hill, with top Republicans promising to fight tooth-and-nail against President Obama's climate-change agenda. Published September 20, 2013

**FILE** Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas enters his car after a meeting with French President Francois Hollande at the Elysee Palace in Paris on Sept. 12, 2013. (Associated Press)

Obama to meet Palestinian leader next week in NYC

The White House confirmed Friday that President Obama will hold a bilateral meeting with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas next week in New York City during the global gathering of world leaders for the U.N. General Assembly. Published September 20, 2013