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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

Articles by Ben Wolfgang

President Barack Obama, center, talks with Marko Platts, right seated, and other students at Coral Reef High School, Friday, March 7, 2014, in Miami. Obama traveled to the Miami school to unveil a new initiative to ensure more students complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), a document required for most types of school financial aid such as Pell grants. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

In Florida, Obama pushes federal college grants

Before heading to a upscale Florida resort for the weekend, President Obama on Friday told prospective college students to take advantage of federal financial aid programs and, if they don't, offered governors and high school leaders new power to give them a hand. Published March 7, 2014

House Budget Committee Chairman Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis. speaks at the Conservative Political Action Committee annual conference in National Harbor, Md., Thursday, March 6, 2014. Ryan said GOP leaders and conservative activists should "give each other the benefit of the doubt" in the debate over the party's future. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Democrats target convention as part of midterm-election strategy

With leading conservatives gathered just outside Washington this week, Democrats have a launched an all-out public-relations offensive aimed at convincing moderate voters that the GOP is now run by "fringe" elements on the far right. Published March 6, 2014

President Barack Obama talks about the situation in Ukraine, Thursday, March 6, 2014, in the briefing room of the White House in Washington. The president said a referendum for Ukraine's Crimea region to separate and become part of Russia would violate international law. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Obama urges Putin in phone call: De-escalate crisis in Ukraine

President Obama aimed stern warnings and temporarily toothless sanctions at Russia on Thursday, calling on Russian President Vladimir Putin to ease the crisis in Ukraine and condemning a proposed referendum in Crimea that would allow the contested region to join Moscow. Published March 6, 2014

President Barack Obama speaks on the importance of raising the minimum wage during an event at at Central Connecticut State University in New Britain, Conn., Wednesday, March 5, 2014. Obama traveled to Hartford, Conn., area to highlight the importance of raising the minimum wage and then will travel to Boston for a pair of Democratic fundraising. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Undaunted, Obama continues minimum-wage push

Even with dissension in his own ranks and in the face of a damning report showing the economic damage of a higher minimum wage, President Obama on Wednesday continued to push the issue and made clear it’ll be a political weapon for Democrats heading into the fall midterm elections. Published March 5, 2014

Rep. Fred Upton, Michigan Republican (Associated Press)

Ukraine deeply vulnerable to Russian energy threats — report

Abundant supplies of U.S. natural gas have reshaped global energy markets, but countries such as Ukraine remain beholden to Russian fuel and, as a result, face serious economic and security risks, a new report shows. Published March 4, 2014

In this Feb. 4, 2014, photo, President Barack Obama speaks at Buck Lodge Middle School in Adelphi, Md.  Six years into his presidency, Obama is unveiling a budget on Tuesday, March 4, 2014, that for once does not herald a partisan legislative showdown. There's no push to overhaul health care as he did in 2009, no drive as in 2010 to restrict Wall Street, or to increase taxes as in 2011 and 2012, or to halt automatic spending cuts as in 2013.  (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File)

Obama touts executive actions with pitch to 'work together'

In what's become a recurring theme, the weekly addresses of President Obama and congressional Republicans offered a preview of the two sides' political strategies heading into this fall's midterm elections. Published March 1, 2014

Ukraine's fugitive President Viktor Yanukovych speaks at a news conference in Rostov-on-Don, a city in southern Russia about 1,000 kilometers (600 miles) from Moscow, Friday, Feb. 28, 2014. Yanukovych, making his first public appearance since fleeing Ukraine, said he was forced to leave the country after his family received threats. (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin)

White House warns Russia again on Ukraine

The Obama administration on Friday told Russia not to cross a “line” in Ukraine, though officials wouldn't speculate about what the U.S. will do if Moscow disregards the warning. Published February 28, 2014

President Barack Obama, next to White House Senior Adviser Valerie Jarrett, left, and former Secretary of State Colin Powell, meets with foundation and business leaders in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington, Thursday, Feb. 27, 2014, where he discussed his “My Brother’s Keeper” initiative to expand opportunity for minority boys and young men. Former Lakers basketball star Magic Johnson, far left partially obscured, also attended. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

Obama launches 'My Brother's Keeper' initiative to help minority boys

In the type of address many in the black community have been waiting for, President Obama on Thursday said the nation cannot and should not accept poorer schools, unsafe communities and a lack of role models for young men of color and established a new initiative to confront those problems. Published February 27, 2014