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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

Sen. Richard J. Durbin, Illinois Democrat (Associated Press)

He said what? White House refutes Durbin claim of incendiary GOP comment

Senate Majority Whip Richard J. Durbin, a Democrat with a history of incendiary statements including a comparison of Guantanamo Bay to a Nazi concentration camp, was hung out to dry Wednesday when the White House flatly dismissed the senator's claim that a top Republican made contemptuous comments toward the commander in chief during a recent closed-door meeting. Published October 23, 2013

President Barack Obama listens during his meeting with Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2013. In the rocky relationship between the U.S. and Pakistan, the mere fact that Obama and Sharif sit down is seen as a sign of progress. Few breakthroughs are expected on the numerous hot-button issues on their agenda Wednesday, including American drone strikes and Pakistan's alleged support of the Taliban. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Pakistani PM to Obama: End drone strikes

President Obama and his Pakistani counterpart emerged from their meeting Wednesday at the White House vowing to work together to combat terrorism, but controversial U.S. drone strikes continue to cloud the relationship between the two nations and threaten future cooperation. Published October 23, 2013

FILE - The March 5, 2013 file photo shows German Chancellor Angela Merkel presenting a tap-proof mobile phone of Blackberry at a booth of Secusmart during the opening round tour of the world's largest computer expo CeBIT in Hannover. German Chancellor Angela Merkel complained to President Barack Obama on Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2013 after learning that U.S. intelligence may have targeted her mobile phone, and said that would be “a serious breach of trust” if confirmed, her government said.  (AP Photo/dpa, Julian Stratenschulte)

White House: We're not spying on Merkel

President Obama on Wednesday spoke on the phone with German Chancellor Angela Merkel to assure her the U.S. is not listening to her phone calls, the White House said. Published October 23, 2013

** FILE ** Parkland Memorial Hospital financial counselor Kaneaka Guidry, back left, helps Cathleen and Jerry Brown sign up for insurance under the Affordable Care Act while Vyncent Bosh, front left, receives help from Tiffany Ruiz, Parkland Memorial Hospital financial counselor, front right, on Friday, Oct. 11, 2013, in Dallas. (AP Photo/The Dallas Morning News, Ron Baselice)

White House won't rule out delay of Obamacare; buyers wait for website fix

The Obama administration remains committed to getting Obamacare up and running on time, but the White House this week left itself enough wiggle room if it decides it must delay the mandate that everyone have health insurance — a centerpiece of the Affordable Care Act — if consumers continue to have problems signing up. Published October 22, 2013

White House press secretary Jay Carney smiles as he arrives for the daily press briefing at the White House in Washington on Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2013, after senators reached a bipartisan deal to avoid default and reopen the government. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

Deal on shutdown, debt 'achieves what is necessary,' White House says

Moments after Senate leaders announced a deal to end the government shutdown and raise the nation's debt ceiling, the White House announced that it backs the agreement and urged both chambers of Congress "to act swiftly" and pass the measure as quickly as possible. Published October 16, 2013

President Barack Obama speaks to reporters as he visits Martha's Table, which assists the poor and where furloughed federal employees are volunteering, in Washington, Monday, Oct. 14, 2013. Speaking there Obama said that if Republicans can't resolve the standoff over the debt ceiling and the partial government shutdown, quote, "we stand a good chance of defaulting." (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

Obama predicts budget, debt-ceiling deal will get done

Saying that a growing number of congressional Republicans realize they've been pursuing a "bad strategy" in ongoing fiscal talks, President Obama on Tuesday predicted that a deal will get done before America breaches its debt ceiling. Published October 15, 2013

President Barack Obama speaks to reporters as he visits Martha's Table, which assists the poor and where furloughed federal employees are volunteering, in Washington, Monday, Oct. 14, 2013. Speaking there Obama said that if Republicans can't resolve the standoff over the debt ceiling and the partial government shutdown, quote, "we stand a good chance of defaulting." (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

Obama: Critics will stop calling it 'Obamacare' if it works

President Obama has embraced "Obamacare" as the de facto name of his signature health care initiative. But the commander-in-chief believes that if the law ends up being a wild success, the moniker will disappear. Published October 15, 2013

The Supreme Court (Associated Press) ** FILE **

Parts of climate-change agenda to come before Supreme Court

The Supreme Court set the stage for a high-stakes showdown over President Obama's climate change agenda, agreeing Tuesday to hear a series of cases involving the power of the Environmental Protection Agency to mandate greenhouse gas emission controls at utilities, factories and other facilities around the country. Published October 15, 2013

Expanded background checks on gun purchases, immigration reform and other key goals for the president over the next three years threaten to be crowded out and ultimately relegated to the political graveyard if President Obama is unable to make a deal with Republicans on the government shutdown and debt ceiling. (associated press)

Obama's second-term agenda could hinge on shutdown resolution

Some of president's key goals hang in balance. The eventual resolution to the government shutdown and debt-ceiling standoff carries serious consequences for the U.S. economy, but it also could make or break President Obama's second-term agenda. Published October 10, 2013

President Richard M. Nixon, left, and President Obama.

Report: Obama administration most secretive since Nixon

The Obama White House's war against leaks, and its penchant for secrecy and noted lack of transparency, are the worst "since the Nixon administration," according to a major new study that relied on interviews from leading Washington reporters and news organization chiefs. Published October 10, 2013

Partisan critics say President Obama's continuing embrace of rendition, along with his inability to shutter Guantanamo, are proof that his assertions as a candidate have collided with the realities of being the commander in chief, most recently the weekend raids in Somalia and Libya. (Associated Press)

White House embrace of Bush-era anti-terrorism policies continues

President Obama's decision this weekend to authorize capture and rendition of a top terror target in Libya has reignited questions about his use of Bush-era tools and tactics — and has given more ammunition to critics who say it's time he makes a clean break from policies of the past. Published October 7, 2013

**FILE** Heather Zichal, deputy assistant to the President for Energy and Climate Change speaks during the daily news briefing at the White House on March 12, 2012. (Associated Press)

Obama's top climate adviser to leave, report says

The White House's chief climate change adviser reportedly will leave the administration within the next several weeks, leaving a key hole in the leadership team charged with overseeing President Obama's ambitious global-warming agenda. Published October 7, 2013