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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

**FILE** President Obama is greeted by then-Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and former President Bill Clinton for his ceremonial swearing-in on Capitol Hill in Washington on Jan. 21, 2013, during the 57th Presidential Inauguration. (Associated Press)

White House 'welcomes' Bill Clinton's critique of Syria policy

While not directly addressing Bill Clinton's criticism of the Obama administration's Syria policy, White House spokesman Jay Carney said Thursday that the 42nd president has offered "valid" opinions on the deteriorating situation in the Middle Eastern country. Published June 13, 2013

** FILE ** Syrian President Bashar Assad speaks during an interview on Wednesday, April 17, 2013. (Associated Press/Syrian State TV via AP video)

Obama says Syria has crossed 'red line' with chemical weapons, will send weapons

The Syrian government used chemical weapons against rebel forces trying to overthrow the regime, the Obama administration said Thursday, acknowledging that President Bashar Assad has without doubt crossed the "red line" President Obama laid down for U.S. action in the country's bloody civil war. Published June 13, 2013

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Nevada Democrat, accompanied by families and friends of the Newtown, Conn., shooting victims, including (from left) Jillian, Carlee and Carlos Soto, siblings of Victoria Soto, speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill on June 13, 2013, the six-month anniversary of the Newtown shooting. (Associated Press)

Harry Reid: Background checks will pass — only question is when

On the eve of the six-month anniversary of the Connecticut school shooting, the White House and congressional leaders vowed to continue pushing for new gun controls — but the aftermath of recent mass shootings suggests such an effort is easier said than done. Published June 13, 2013

** FILE ** President Obama hugs Tolu Olubunmi, an immigration activist, before speaking about immigration reform on June 11, 2013, in the East Room of the White House. (Associated Press)

Obama throws weight behind immigration overhaul bill

Reprising his role as cheerleader in chief, President Obama on Tuesday urged the Senate to quickly pass a comprehensive immigration reform bill and dismissed as unfounded Republican concerns about border security. Published June 11, 2013

** FILE ** Sen. Chuck Grassley, Iowa Republican (Associated Press)

White House presses GOP to confirm ATF chief; Grassley says more answers needed

The White House and former law enforcement officials on Monday urged the swift confirmation of B. Todd Jones to be the permanent director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), renewing a largely dormant battle over gun control six months after December's school shootings in Connecticut. Published June 10, 2013

**FILE** Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (Associated Press)

Huckabee urges states to back Common Core

As conservative opposition to the national K-12 education standards known as Common Core continues to grow, a leading figure in the Republican Party is lending his voice in support of the system. Published June 5, 2013

** File ** U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan speaks at a gun violence conference in Danbury, Conn., Thursday, Feb. 21, 2013. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)

Arne Duncan still believes in pre-K expansion

With much of Washington still focused on the White House's ongoing scandals, a top Obama administration official Wednesday tried to shift attention back to a top policy priority: an ambitious expansion of prekindergarten programs. Published May 29, 2013

**FILE** Illinois of Secretary of State Capitol police officers speak with protesters sitting in front of the entrance to Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn's office at the Illinois State Capitol in Springfield on May 23, 2013. The demonstrators were protesting against the state's oil drilling "fracking" legislation. (Associated Press)

Illinois edges closer to endorsing gas fracking

Lawmakers in Illinois could sign off on legalizing fracking as early as this week, but approval of the highly controversial drilling method won't come without a fight. Published May 28, 2013

An American flag blows in the wind at sunrise atop the rubble of a destroyed home a day after a tornado moved through Moore, Okla., Tuesday, May 21, 2013. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)

Coach barely escapes deadly tornadoes — twice

Until Monday, the closest brush Marcus Moeller had had with a killer tornado came when he moved out of Joplin, Mo., on May 22, 2011 — just hours before a twister ripped through the city, claiming 161 lives. Published May 22, 2013

A rescue worker with his search dog looks through the remains of a home in Moore, Okla. Residents were allowed to return to their homes for the first time Wednesday, with local officials confident there are no more victims buried beneath the rubble.
(Dallas Morning News via Associated Press)

In Oklahoma tornado's aftermath, talk of 'safe rooms'

As Moore, Okla., begins to dig out of the wreckage wrought by Monday's killer storm, attention is shifting to the steps state officials may take to limit the loss of life the next time a tornado strikes — a question of "when," not "if." Published May 22, 2013

What's Left: Lea Bessinger and her son Josh Bessinger sort through the rubble of Ms. Bessinger's tornado-ravaged home Tuesday.

Oklahoma destruction hard to fathom even for Tornado Alley

As search and rescue teams combed Moore, Okla., for survivors of Monday's deadly twister, officials struggled to describe devastation that, even for a town in the heart of "Tornado Alley," is almost unimaginable. Published May 21, 2013