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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

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

Ben Carson, right, speaking at the 2013 National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, where he burst on the national scene when he criticized Obamacare with President Obama himself seated nearby on the dais. (Courtesy of C-SPAN)

The long line of conservatives targeted by the IRS

Tea party groups, Franklin Graham, Christine O'Donnell, a pro-marriage group. And now Dr. Ben Carson. The list of conservatives targeted by the Internal Revenue Service for audits, tax-exempt reviews or tax privacy breaches keeps growing, raising fresh questions in Washington about whether a scandal the Obama administration has blamed on bureaucratic incompetence and coincidence may in fact involve something more nefarious. Published October 3, 2013

Trader Kevin Walsh works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2013. The stock market is opening lower as the U.S. government shutdown enters a second day with little hope for a resolution in sight. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

Obama warns Wall Street on government shutdown: 'This time's different'

Just hours before he met with congressional leaders, President Obama delivered a grim message to America's business community and warned that the current budget impasse and subsequent government shutdown, unlike past partisan squabbles, offer cause for alarm. Published October 2, 2013

** FILE ** Western Michigan University student Alenna Brown ,19, leaves with her new iPhone 5 in Kalamazoo, Mich., Sept. 21, 2012. (Associated Press)

Obama: Health plan's glitches akin to those of iPhone 5 rollout

Continuing his attack on Republicans for their determination to repeal his health care reform law, President Obama on Tuesday compared the ongoing federal budget stalemate to Apple's roll-out of its most recent operating system. Published October 1, 2013

US Park Police officers stand in front of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, Tuesday, Oct. 1, 2013, as it was closed to visitors. Congress plunged the nation into a partial government shutdown Tuesday as a long-running dispute over President Barack Obama's health care law stalled a temporary funding bill, forcing about 800,000 federal workers off the job and suspending most non-essential federal programs and services. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Obama accepts no blame for shutdown

President Obama on Tuesday laid the blame for the government shutdown entirely on congressional Republicans, rejecting any responsibility for the stalemate and calling it "a Republican shutdown" caused by spite over Obamacare. Published October 1, 2013

** FILE ** Second-grader Jonathan Cheng (center) looks at fruits and vegetables during a school lunch at Fairmeadow Elementary School in Palo Alto, Calif., on Dec. 2, 2010. (Associated Press)

New lunch regulations are too hard to swallow for many schools

More than 500 schools have dropped out of the federal school lunch program since new guidelines went into effect 12 months ago, a sign of still-smoldering discontent with the ambitious rewrite of what the nation's schoolchildren find on their lunch trays. Published September 30, 2013

President Barack Obama speaks in the James Brady Briefing room of the White House in Washington, Monday, Sept. 30, 2013. Obama said a government shutdown would throw a wrench into the gears of U.S. economy. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Obama: Shutdown would hamper economy, but Obamacare can't be stopped

With lawmakers seemingly deadlocked and a federal government shutdown just hours away, President Obama on Monday afternoon bluntly laid out the consequences if Congress fails to act — and accused House Republicans of trying to "extract a ransom" to keep Washington up and running. Published September 30, 2013

White House press secretary Jay Carney gestures while speaking during his daily news briefing at the White House in Washington on Monday, Sept. 30, 2013. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

White House keeps pressure on House GOP

With a federal shutdown looming, the White House on Monday continued to pressure House Republicans and flatly stated that any government closure will be the fault of the GOP's tea party "faction." Published September 30, 2013