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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

Common Core backers mount a counterattack

Facing increasingly vocal criticism, supporters of the Common Core package of school reforms launched a counter-assault Monday, seeking to reassure wavering Republicans that supporting the controversial new educational standards doesn't necessarily spell political doom in primary elections. Published May 5, 2014

White House press secretary Jay Carney, left, and White House senior counselor John Podesta, right, laugh during the daily news briefing at the White House in Washington Monday, May 5, 2014. Podesta, who served as Chief of Staff under President Clinton, was answering a question about his returning to work for the White House. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

White House: We back fracking, U.S. energy boom

Republican critics and some in the energy industry have often cast President Obama as hostile to fossil fuels, but the White House on Monday issued a clear endorsement of the domestic oil and gas boom and the controversial drilling technique that has made it possible. Published May 5, 2014

President Obama reads briefing material while meeting with advisers inside his cabin at Camp David in 2012. Compared with President Bush, seen right with first lady Laura Bush on a 4-mile walk, Mr. Obama seldom uses the presidential retreat. On weekends, he often opts to play golf. The Bushes founds the grounds to be a good place for family. (WHITE HOUSE PHOTOGRAPHS)

No man for old country: Obama rarely retreats to Camp David

Compared with President George W. Bush, President Obama has rarely visited Camp David, the sprawling, secluded retreat in northern Maryland that has become a regular getaway spot for presidents over the past 70 years. Published May 1, 2014

The Soyuz-FG rocket booster with Soyuz TMA-12M space ship carrying a new crew to the International Space Station (ISS) blasts off at the Russian leased Baikonur cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, Wednesday, March 26, 2014. The Russian rocket carries astronaut Steven Swanson, Russian cosmonauts Alexander Skvortsov and Oleg Artemyev. (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)

NASA chief tries to reassure Congress amid rift with Russia over Ukraine

Deteriorating relations with Russia have not harmed Americans' ability to get astronauts to the International Space Station, NASA Administrator Charles Bolden told Congress on Thursday, trying to reassure lawmakers who fear the diplomatic rift could derail the U.S. space program. Published May 1, 2014

President Barack Obama gestures while speaking about increasing the minimum wage, Wednesday, April 30, 2014, in the East Room of the White House in Washington. Earlier, Senate Republicans blocked an election-year Democratic bill that would boost the federal minimum wage, handing a defeat to the president on a vote that is sure to reverberate in this year's congressional elections. (AP Photo)

Pushing minimum wage, Obama revives message of 'change'

After a Republican filibuster stalled a minimum-wage hike Wednesday, President Obama declared that the GOP can't stand in the way of "change" any longer and implored voters to boot from office any lawmaker who doesn't back raising wages, extending unemployment insurance and other Democratic wish-list items. Published April 30, 2014

FILE - In this March 1, 2014, file photo, Rep. Cory Gardner, R-Colo., officially announces his candidacy for the U.S. Senate at Denver Lumber Company in Denver. Gardner will run against Democratic Sen. Mark Udall. The Senate race in Colorado has shot toward the top of the nation’s most competitive contests this midterm election year, giving the Democratic incumbent a tougher battle than he expected and Republicans a new pickup opportunity in their drive to win the chamber’s majority.  Udall responded to Gardner’s surprise challenge by quickly trying to define his opponent as an extremist.  (AP Photo/Chris Schneider, File)

House panel approves bill to speed up U.S. gas exports

A House panel Wednesday approved a bill to fast-track U.S. natural-gas exports as a way to lessen Russian influence over Ukraine and Europe, but the measure is exposing divisions within the Democratic Party and parts of America's business community. Published April 30, 2014

Obama secures defense deal with Philippines, blasts his foreign policy critics

After securing a defense agreement with the Philippines that represents one of the most tangible accomplishments of his weeklong Asia trip, President Obama on Monday attacked his foreign policy critics for not understanding the lessons of history and said direct U.S. military involvement in places such as Ukraine and Syria isn't the answer. Published April 28, 2014

U.S. President Barack Obama attends a welcome ceremony at the presidential Blue House in Seoul, Friday, April 25, 2014. (AP Photo/Kim Hong-Ji, Pool)

Obama reassures allies: I can juggle many foreign crises

With North Korea set to test a nuclear weapon, Middle East peace negotiations all but dead and Russian troops massed on the Ukrainian border, President Obama on Friday reassured Americans and global allies that he can "worry about a bunch of different problems at once" and his administration is capable of dealing with the array of foreign crises that have popped up in recent days. Published April 25, 2014

"The Renewable Fuel Standard was designed to drive investment in and the development of advanced biofuels. It has succeeded in doing that, if not at the pace Congress originally had hoped," said Sen. Chuck Grassley, Iowa Republican and a supporter of ethanol. (ASSOCIATED PRESS)

Running on empty: EPA slashes biofuel goals because of ethanol shortage

Just a few years ago, it looked as though ethanol and its politically potent lobby would reshape the U.S. energy landscape, but now even the federal government has been forced to acknowledge that its projections for the biofuel simply don't match reality. Published April 23, 2014

Vice President Joe Biden reacts to a comment by President Obama about his sunglasses, during a Democratic rally in Philadelphia, Sunday, Oct. 10, 2010. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Biden blows it: Ukraine says pro-Russian forces swarming into country

Vice President Joseph R. Biden delivered a stern warning to Russia during a Tuesday visit to Kiev in which he promised Ukraine millions of dollars in additional aid. But within hours of his departure, Ukrainian accusations of torture by pro-Russia forces further dimmed prospects for peace. Published April 22, 2014

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden addresses members of the Ukrainian parliament during a meeting Tuesday, April 22, 21014 in Kiev. Biden's visit to Ukraine comes at a crucial time, days after an international agreement was reached aimed at quelling violence in Ukraine. (AP Photo/Sergei Supinsky, Pool)

Joe Biden to Ukrainian lawmakers: Tackle 'cancer of corruption'

Vice President Joseph R. Biden mostly has had friendly words for the Ukrainians since arriving in Kiev on Monday, but the outspoken former senator also has a blunt message for the country's leaders — clean up corruption in your ranks. Published April 22, 2014