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Seth McLaughlin

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

Articles by Seth McLaughlin

**FILE** President Obama speaks at the South Court Auditorium at the White House in Washington on Dec. 31, 2012. (Associated Press)

‘Fiscal cliff’ deal boosts GDP share of taxes, spending

The tax deal President Obama and congressional Republicans struck last week will send government revenue soaring above its historic average, but did nothing to control spending, which remains stubbornly high. Published January 8, 2013

From left, U.S. Chamber of Commerce Chief Executive Tom Donohue, former Minnesota Gov. and GOP presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty, and, Jeffrey Zients of the Office of Management and Budget, walk from the White House after a meeting with White House staff regarding the fiscal cliff, Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2012, in Washington. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

‘Cliff’ talks center on targets of tax hikes

The crux of the negotiations between President Obama and House Speaker John A. Boehner is no longer about whether to raise tax rates, but about who would get hit. Published December 20, 2012

**FILE** Americans for Tax Reform chief Grover Norquist. (Barbara L. Salisbury/The Washington Times)

For conservatives, tax increase is in eye of beholder

President Obama and House Speaker John A. Boehner are squabbling over the "fiscal cliff," but an even bigger fight is going on within conservative circles over Mr. Boehner’s latest offer to extend tax cuts for all but millionaires, who would see their taxes increase. Published December 19, 2012

** FILE ** House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. (Associated Press)

Obama, Boehner grapple near ‘fiscal cliff’

Racing to find common ground in the "fiscal cliff" negotiations, President Obama and House Speaker John A. Boehner are backing off what were once ironclad positions on taxes and spending — though not enough to reach an agreement just yet, as both men continue to demand additional concessions before signing off on a year-end deal. Published December 18, 2012

Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio, arrives for a closed-door meeting with House Republicans as he negotiates with President Obama to avert the fiscal cliff, at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2012. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

As Boehner prepares 'Plan B' on 'fiscal cliff,' Democrats already reject it

Concerned that the "fiscal cliff" negotiations with President Obama will not bear any fruit, House Speaker John A. Boehner said Tuesday the House GOP is prepared with a "Plan B" option that calls for higher taxes on millionaires and locks in current tax rates for everyone else. Published December 18, 2012

** FILE ** President Obama acknowledges House Speaker John A. Boehner, Ohio Republican, while speaking to reporters in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington on Sunday, Nov. 16, 2012, as he hosts a meeting of the bipartisan, bicameral leadership of Congress to discuss the deficit and the economy. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Boehner’s ‘fiscal cliff’ bargaining stirs some uneasiness

House Speaker John A. Boehner's latest "fiscal cliff" offer to the White House has budget hawks fearing he is preparing to break his promise to deliver a dollar in spending cuts for every dollar increase in the nation's borrowing limit. Published December 17, 2012

** FILE ** Speaker of the House John Boehner, Ohio Republican, speaks to reporters at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2012. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Boehner seen holding top post despite purge

Despite rumblings from some Republican backbenchers, Speaker John A. Boehner's hold on the House's top post appears secure after key conservative lawmakers said they don't expect anyone to challenge him. Published December 12, 2012

**FILE** President Obama speaks to workers about the economy during a visit to Daimler Detroit Diesel in Redford, Mich., on Dec. 10, 2012. (Associated Press)

House members told to plan for Christmas on Hill

President Obama has advised Democrats not to buy any nonrefundable plane tickets before the end of the year, and House leaders have told their members that they may not be home for Christmas. Published December 12, 2012

House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio is pursued by reporters as he walks to the House floor to deliver remarks about negotiations with President Barack Obama on the fiscal cliff, Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2012, on Capitol Hill in Washington. Boehner said President Barack Obama is slow-walking talks to avoid the fiscal cliff, and hasn't outlined spending cuts he's willing to support as part of a compromise. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Americans desire a 'fiscal cliff' deal without pain

With the clock ticking on Congress to strike a deal to avert the "fiscal cliff," Americans increasingly want to see their leaders compromise to get a deal done — as long as the pain of any compromise leaves them untouched. Published December 11, 2012

**FILE** Sen. Jeff Sessions, Alabama Republican

Storm relief sets up new spending without cuts

President Obama's call for $60 billion in additional spending to cover damage from Superstorm Sandy tops a congressional wish list of more stimulus spending, expanded unemployment benefits and extending the payroll tax cut — all without finding cuts elsewhere in the federal budget. Published December 10, 2012

Sen. Charles Schumer, New York Democrat, accompanied by Sen. Chris Coons, Delaware Democrat, gestures during a news conference on Capitol Hill, Thursday, Dec. 6, 2012, to discuss efforts to "boost the economy and prevent Americans from abruptly losing their jobless benefits at the end of the year." (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

Little interest in renewing payroll-tax holiday

Democrats want to see tax rates go up on the wealthy; Republicans want to see cuts in entitlement programs. But neither side is trumpeting an extension of the payroll-tax cut, which is also expected to expire at the end of the year — opening the door for the federal government to dig deeper into the pockets of 160 million workers. Published December 9, 2012

**FILE** With fellow Republican Sen. John Thune of South Dakota (left) and others looking on, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky outlines Republicans' stance on negotiations with the president and Hill Democrats on the "fiscal cliff" on Nov. 27, 2012. (Associated Press)

Democrats block quick vote on Obama 'fiscal cliff' plan

Senate Republicans forced their Democratic counterparts to block a vote on President Obama's own "fiscal cliff" budget proposal Wednesday — a move that GOP lawmakers said exposed the weakness of the White House's proposal. Published December 5, 2012

House Speaker John A. Boehner, Ohio Republlican, talks to reporters after private discussions with Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner on the "fiscal cliff" negotiations at the Capitol in Washington on Thursday, Nov. 29, 2012. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Democrats shrug off Republicans' 'fiscal cliff' counter

House Republican leaders delivered a $2.2 trillion "fiscal cliff" counteroffer to President Obama on Monday that included $800 billion in tax increases, but the White House and congressional Democrats said that still isn't enough revenue to begin negotiating. Published December 3, 2012

Republicans urged to call Democrats’ bluff

Grover Norquist says Republicans will emerge victorious from the "fiscal cliff" fight if they put television cameras in the negotiating room and smoke out Democrats over their reluctance to cut entitlement programs — the biggest drivers of federal spending and the national debt. Published December 2, 2012

House Speaker John A. Boehner, Ohio Republican, speaks about the looming financial crisis to reporters at the House Visitors Center at the U.S. Capitol in Washington on Thursday, Nov. 29, 2012. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)

Lot of movement, no progress on 'fiscal cliff': Tax increases vs. spending cuts

President Obama's top aides floated a budget framework to Republicans on Thursday that would call for $1.6 trillion in tax increases coupled with a promise for future spending trims in order to head off the "fiscal cliff," an offer GOP leaders immediately rejected, saying the White House needs to "get serious" about spending cuts. Published November 29, 2012

Are parties hurtling toward 'fiscal cliff'?

With little tangible headway being made in Washington on averting the looming federal taxes-and-spending crisis, a key observer said Wednesday that he puts the chances of Congress reaching a deal before the Jan. 1 "fiscal cliff" deadline at less than 1 in 3. Published November 28, 2012

Rubio jumps to the head of GOP’s class

Sen. Marco Rubio, in a matter of days, leapfrogged from being one of Mitt Romney's reliable foot soldiers on the campaign trail to being a front-runner for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination. Published November 27, 2012

GOP fealty to ‘no new taxes’ pledge slipping

Trying to signal a good-faith commitment to the ongoing "fiscal cliff" debt negotiations, some prominent Republicans increasingly are indicating a willingness to walk away from Grover Norquist's influential "no new taxes" pledge, saying that even if they signed it, they no longer feel bound by it. Published November 26, 2012

Democrats seek more benefits for jobless

Warning that more than 2 million Americans are poised to lose their long-term unemployment insurance, some Democrats are calling on Congress to extend the "economic lifeline" before it expires next month. Published November 26, 2012