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Seth McLaughlin

Seth McLaughlin, a reporter on the Politics Desk, can be reached at Follow him on Twitter: @SethMcLaughlin1

Articles by Seth McLaughlin


Democrats talk bravely of beating Brown

Massachusetts Democrats insist Sen. Scott Brown is vulnerable in next year's elections, arguing the surprise winner last year of the seat long held by Sen. Edward M. Kennedy has compiled such an uninspiring voting record that both Democrats and conservative Republicans will be gunning for him in 2012. Published April 28, 2011

Abortion votes will trail GOP in 2012 campaign

In a year when spending, deficits and debt have dominated the national debate, the recent push to strip Planned Parenthood of government funding is a reminder that the abortion issue retains its political potency. Published April 24, 2011

David Stockman (Associated Press)

Deficit talks bring effect of tax cuts center stage

The fast-approaching Capitol Hill battles on spending and deficit-reduction are going to test the notion that tax cuts pay for themselves - as both parties have started staking out ground in a debate over whether such cuts generate a big enough uptick in economic activity to offset the loss of revenue. Published April 21, 2011

Trump hits back at Rove, GOP critics

Donald Trump fired back at Karl Rove Tuesday for labeling his possible White House bid a "joke," saying the one-time senior George W. Bush adviser "should be ashamed of himself" for the role he played in pushing an agenda that turned voters against Republicans and paved the way for the Obama presidency. Published April 19, 2011

Donald Trump waves after addressing the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington in February 2011. (AP Photo)

Trump takes lumps in polls

A poll and a scathing message from an influential anti-tax group serve as a blunt reminder to Donald Trump that there's a long road ahead of him if he wants to be a serious contender for president. Published April 18, 2011

Court ruling allows tools to hinder tax reform

In a world where corporations and unions have growing influence over political races - thanks to a Supreme Court ruling last year - some lawmakers and fiscal hawks worry that the lack of restraints on these groups could cripple efforts to revamp the nation's tax system. Published April 13, 2011

Post-Tucson civility swamped by budget warfare

Just three months after President Obama's plea for civility after the mass shooting in Tucson, Ariz., it's back to business in Washington, where some lawmakers have returned to heated policy debates, verbal haymakers and accusing one another of wanting to kill Americans. Published April 11, 2011

Abortion fight looms large in spending debate endgame

Some House Republicans say de-funding the reproductive health care organization Planned Parenthood is so important that it is worth risking a government shutdown, to try to force Democrats hand as the two sides try to reach an agreement on a budget for the remainder of 2011. Published April 8, 2011

U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice told the House Foreign Affairs Committee on Thursday that the "Libya mission is not one that falls under U.N. accounting or U.S. budgeting. It is something we are undertaking in a national capacity." (Rod Lamkey Jr./The Washington Times)

Democrat says Libya costs run much higher

A Democratic lawmaker says the White House is "dramatically underestimating" the true cost of the military's involvement in Libya by relying on accounting that obscures the total financial burden being saddled on taxpayers. Published April 7, 2011

Budget hawks may not turn a blind eye to Pentagon

Despite a near-consensus on Capitol Hill on the need to cut spending, about a fifth of the federal budget has been placed entirely off limits: the Defense Department, which is so awash in cash that even its auditors have a tough time telling where all the money is going. Published April 6, 2011

Speaker of the House John A. Boehner, Ohio Republican, talks Tuesday about the budget proposed by Rep. Paul Ryan, Wisconsin Republican, who chairs the House Budget Committee. (Rod Lamkey Jr./The Washington Times)

Boehner feels heat over cuts in budget

Senate Democrats say the tea party is holding House Speaker John A. Boehner's leash, but in reality the grass-roots movement is anything but unified over the Ohio Republican and how he has handled the spending scrap on Capitol Hill. Published April 5, 2011

At Hill rally, tea partyers turn up heat on Boehner

House Speaker John A. Boehner praised tea partyers Thursday morning, and then members of the grass-roots movement assailed him in the afternoon, saying the Ohio Republican shouldn't give in to Democrats' demands in the spending battle in Congress, even if that results in a government shutdown. Published March 31, 2011

'FRUSTRATED': Tea Party Patriots co-founder Mark Meckler calls the rally a way "to prepare for the 2012 election." (Associated Press)

Tea party to storm Capitol for 'gut check'

Miffed at the inability of Republicans to deliver on promises of deep cuts in federal spending, tea partyers will converge on the Capitol on Thursday to warn both parties about political repercussions if they don't act. Published March 30, 2011

**FILE** Sen. Richard J. Durbin, Illinois Democrat

Senate Democrats back American Muslims

Less than three weeks after a much-criticized House Republican hearing on the radicalization of American Muslims, Senate Democrats countered Tuesday with a hearing of their own — this one focusing on protecting the civil rights of Muslims. Published March 29, 2011

U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner said he doesn't think Japan's troubles will affect U.S. borrowing costs and interest rates. (Bloomberg)

Fears rise that Japan could sell off U.S. debt

Some lawmakers and market analysts are expressing rising concerns that a demand for capital by earthquake-ravaged Japan could lead it to sell off some of its huge holdings of U.S.-issued debt, leaving the federal government in an even tighter financial pinch. Published March 24, 2011

Defense cuts a tough sell in bid to curb deficit

Congressional leaders have spent months telling voters that all spending must be on the table, but so far the rhetoric is ringing hollow on Capitol Hill, where defense cuts remain a tough sell. Published March 23, 2011

Tea party darling Bachmann emerging as force on the Hill

For a person prone to the occasional political gaffe, Rep. Michele Bachmann can also stay relentlessly on message — traits that have made the tea party favorite both the butt of late-night jokes and a force to be reckoned with on Capitol Hill. Published March 22, 2011

Lawmakers concerned about U.S. role in Libya

Key congressional leaders on Sunday said President Obama must do a better job of defining the U.S. role in leading the coalition imposing a "no-fly zone" on Libya and how far the military is prepared to go to drive Libyan leader Col. Moammar Gadhafi from power. Published March 20, 2011

Aid targeted for nations that 'don't like us'

Seeking to shut off federal aid going to foreign countries that "don't like us," a Texas Republican congressman said Wednesday that lawmakers should vote separately on funding for every foreign nation receiving taxpayer money. Published March 16, 2011

Rep. Peter T. King, New York Republican and chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, confers Thursday with an aide during a hearing, "The Extent of Radicalization in the American Muslim Community and that Community's Response." He said it was the first in a series of such hearings. (Drew Angerer/The Washington Times)

King stands by hearing on Islamic radicals

Pushing back against a firestorm of criticism, the chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee said Thursday his hearings on the radicalization of Muslims in the U.S. shouldn't be viewed as an assault on any particular faith, but rather an effort to highlight a violent offshoot of Islam that continues to threaten the nation. Published March 10, 2011