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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** 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

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

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

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

Kathleen Sgamma, vice president of government and public affairs with the Western Energy Alliance, which represents energy companies in western states. (Screen shot from http://westernenergyalliance.org)

Obama administration approves natural gas export site

In a key development that will help the U.S. export its vast energy resources, the Department of Energy on Friday approved an application for a liquefied natural gas (LNG) export facility in Texas. Published May 17, 2013

** FILE ** John Edwards arrives at a federal courthouse during the eighth day of jury deliberations in his trial on charges of campaign corruption in Greensboro, N.C., Wednesday, May 30, 2012. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)

John Edwards re-emerges, begins public comeback

Mark Sanford is now a member of Congress two years after he stepped down as governor of South Carolina following a highly publicized extramarital affair. Perhaps, then, it should be no surprise to learn that disgraced former presidential candidate and North Carolina senator John Edwards is plotting his own comeback. Published May 17, 2013

Gina McCarthy

Gina McCarthy, Obama's EPA pick, advances on party-line vote

On a party-line vote, a key Senate committee on Thursday approved the nomination of Gina McCarthy to head the Environmental Protection Agency, a significant step forward for the controversial nominee and one that ends, at least temporarily, a bitter fight between Republicans and Democrats. Published May 16, 2013

**FILE** President Obama applauds in the East Room of the White House in Washington on March 18, 2013, during his announcement that he would nominate Thomas E. Perez (right) for Labor secretary. (Associated Press)

Perez, McCarthy pass hurdle to confirmation

Two of President Obama's second-term personnel picks that have attracted conservative and business opposition moved a step closer to confirmation Thursday. Published May 16, 2013