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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

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

Judson Phillips, the organizer of the National Tea Party Convention, talks during a news conference in Nashville, Friday, Feb. 5, 2010. (AP Photo/Ed Reinke)

Tea party vows to stay for long haul, takes no blame for GOP losses

Tea party leaders say they refuse to be the scapegoats for the drubbing Republicans took on Election Day, claiming it was the party establishment — not their insurgent movement — that cost the party seats in the House and Senate and returned President Obama to the White House. Published November 22, 2012

David Stockman (Associated Press)

Both parties' tax plans would add to the deficit

The "fiscal cliff" debate in Washington has been cast as a choice between runaway Democratic spending and draconian Republican cuts, but no matter who wins the argument, both parties' tax plans add to the deficit — by a minimum of $4.3 trillion through 2022, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office. Published November 18, 2012

Rep. Paul Ryan (AP Photo)

GOP: Ryan plan must be bolder

Returning to a new postelection reality on Capitol Hill, House Republicans say Rep. Paul Ryan will continue to be a major player with their caucus after his failed bid as Mitt Romney's running mate, but that the budget he pushed through the House the past two years no longer does enough to clean up the nation's fiscal mess. Published November 14, 2012

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney gives a thumbs up as he arrives to give his concession speech during his election night rally in Boston on Nov. 7, 2012. (Associated Press)

Tea partyers say GOP must learn from defeat

Slamming the Republican Party establishment for tapping Mitt Romney as its standard-bearer, the co-founder of the nation's largest tea party group said Wednesday the lessons learned from the 2012 presidential election will strengthen the grass-roots movement, making it an even more important part of the GOP's future. Published November 7, 2012

Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney speaks to reporters en route from Pittsburgh to Boston, Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

Romney's bid brings Mormons to political forefront

Mitt Romney's run for president in 2012 has blazed a new path for Mormons, making him the first member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to fight his way to the top of a major-party ticket and into the hearts of millions of Americans on the biggest of political stages. Published November 6, 2012

Romney, Ryan make two final campaign stops

Not content to let Election Day play out on its own, Republican Mitt Romney and running mate Paul Ryan touched on two big battleground states before heading to Boston to await the voters' decision. Published November 6, 2012

With the Wisconsin Capitol dome behind him, President Obama speaks at a campaign event on Monday, Nov. 5, 2012, in downtown Madison, Wis. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Obama, Romney rush to the finish with battleground state stops

Running at a breakneck pace in what is shaping up to be one of the tightest presidential battles in American history, President Obama and Mitt Romney spent the last full day of the campaign scouring the country for additional votes, and calling on their troops to give them the ground support they need to capture the White House. Published November 5, 2012

Romney pledges 'real change' that will end partisan gridlock

Darting across eight battleground states, Mitt Romney spent the final weekend of the presidential race delivering a muscular critique of the Obama administration and saying he is uniquely qualified to end the partisan gridlock in Washington that threatens to push the country into a double-dip recession. Published November 4, 2012

Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney campaigns at Colorado Springs Municipal Airport in Colorado Springs, Col., Saturday, Nov. 3, 2012. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

Romney casts himself as uniter, Obama as divider

On the heels of a new poll showing him struggling to make inroads in Ohio, Mitt Romney stumped in New Hampshire, Iowa and here in Colorado on Saturday, telling tens of thousands of voters in the battleground states that four more years of President Obama would generate more of the partisan gridlock that has slowed the nation's economic recovery and hurt the jobs market. Published November 3, 2012

Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney gestures while speaking at a campaign event at Integrity Windows in Roanoke, Va., Thursday, Nov. 1, 2012.  (AP Photo/David Goldman)

Romney's message largely in tact: Jobs, jobs, jobs

Subtract the jokes about corn qualifying as amber waves of grain, and Mitt Romney's basic message to voters — captured in his standard 20-minute stump speech — remains remarkably the same today as it was a year ago in the frozen cornfields of Iowa: He's the government turnaround artist the country has been waiting for. Published November 1, 2012

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney (right) campaigns in Tampa, Fla., on Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2012. With him are (from left) former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Sen. Marco Rubio and Rep. Connie Mack. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

Romney stumps in Florida, pledges to 'bring real change'

For the first time since superstorm Sandy walloped the East Coast, Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney returned to full campaign mode Wednesday in the key battleground state of Florida, where he toned down his attacks against President Obama while touting an optimistic message that centered on his plans for strengthening the economy and nurturing bipartisanship in Washington. Published October 31, 2012

Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney loads a truck with supplies Tuesday in Kettering, Ohio, during a rally to raise donations for those affected by Hurricane Sandy. Mr. Romney encouraged unity during the event while avoiding attacks on President Obama. (Associated Press)

Romney balances sympathy, politics in Ohio

Walking a political tightrope, Mitt Romney made a stop here Tuesday and tried to strike a delicate balance between showing sympathy for those suffering in the wake of Hurricane Sandy and fulfilling the duties of his current job: Republican Party presidential nominee. Published October 30, 2012

Romney embraces executive authority

Facing off in last week's foreign policy debate, Mitt Romney nodded in agreement with much of what President Obama has done with his powers as chief executive — including a full-on embrace of the president's claim to sole authority to expand drone strikes to kill terrorist suspects. Published October 29, 2012

Republican presidential candidate former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney speaks at a campaign rally at the Marion County Fairgrounds in Marion, Ohio, Sunday, Oct. 28, 2012. (AP Photo/Mike Munden)

Reid would test Romney vow of bipartisanship

In the waning days of the election, Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney is playing up his bipartisan prowess, wooing voters with the notion that he will be the post-partisan leader that President Obama promised but failed to be. Published October 28, 2012