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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

Israel stop a boost to Marco Rubio’s foreign policy profile

Sen. Marco Rubio met Wednesday with leaders in Israel as part of a swing through the Middle East, as the Florida Republican sought to burnish his foreign policy resume by paying tribute to the nation's top ally in the region. Published February 20, 2013

Ex-commission members chase a solution to runaway debt

The leaders of the defunct White House debt commission Tuesday floated a new deficit-reduction plan and warned that President Obama's legacy is riding on his ability to rein in runaway government spending. Published February 19, 2013

President Obama and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, California Democrat, want to repair their injured party after devastating congressional election losses but have diverging mandates at a critical time. (Associated Press)

Obama's liberal agenda seen as risky for red state Democrats

House Speaker John A. Boehner's new "Senate first" strategy could put red state Democrats — especially those facing potentially tough re-election battles in 2014 — in a tough spot: Reject the White House's liberal second-term agenda and run afoul of party leaders, or back the president and alienate voters back home. Published February 18, 2013

**FILE** Sen. Jay Rockefeller, West Virginia Democrat, speaks Aug. 3, 2011, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (Associated Press)

Crystal Ball: Senate Democrats on high alert in seven 2014 races

Borrowing a grading system based on the "Star Trek" franchise, the University of Virginia's Center for Politics warns on Thursday in its latest breakdown of the 2014 Senate races that Senate Democrats should be on high alert in seven states in which they hold seats. Published February 14, 2013

**FILE** Sen. Marco Rubio, Florida Republican, speaks Feb. 7, 2013, with The Associated Press in his Capitol Hill office in Washington. (Associated Press)

Rubio pushes ahead with school choice bill

Following through on his promise to promote school choice, Sen. Marco Rubio introduced a measure Wednesday that would create tax incentives aimed at helping students cover the costs of private school. Published February 13, 2013

Rubio, Paul reflect GOP split on defense cuts

The two Republican rebuttals to the State of the Union address Tuesday night reinforced the GOP's commitment to cutting spending — but the dueling responses from Sens. Marco Rubio and Rand Paul also exposed a split in the party over how that philosophy applies to the defense budget. Published February 13, 2013

** FILE ** Sen. Marco Rubio, Florida Republican. (Associated Press)

State of Union response carries risk for Marco Rubio

After the State of the Union address Tuesday night, Sen. Marco Rubio steps before the cameras to deliver one of the Republican responses — and the stakes couldn't be higher for the high-profile young senator. Published February 10, 2013

"What the United States needs now is a policy that finds that middle path. ... A foreign policy that is reluctant, restrained by constitutional checks and balances but does not appease," said Sen. Rand Paul, Kentucky Republican. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)

Sen. Paul pleads for sanity, balance on foreign policy

Drawing a contrast between himself and Capitol Hill Republicans whom he tied to a longtime "war caucus," Sen. Rand Paul called Wednesday for a "saner, more balanced" approach to foreign policy that strikes a balance between neoconservative and isolationist thinking. Published February 6, 2013

House Majority Eric Cantor, Virginia Republican (Associated Press)

Cantor shifts stance on immigration reform, backs pathway for 'Dreamers'

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor called on Congress on Tuesday to carve out a pathway to citizenship for so-called Dreamers — illegal immigrants brought to the U.S. at a young age — making him the highest-ranking Republican leader to embrace the legalization of a broad category of people living in the U.S. illegally. Published February 5, 2013

Scott P. Brown (Associated Press)

Romney son, wife eyed for Senate seat; Brown out, field open

Former Sen. Scott P. Brown's decision not to seek the Senate seat vacated by Democrat John F. Kerry has sent the Massachusetts GOP back to its wish list of candidates — a list that, for some, includes Ann Romney and Taggart "Tagg" Romney, the wife and oldest son of Mitt Romney, last year's GOP presidential nominee. Published February 3, 2013

Sen. Ted Cruz (Associated Press)

Cruz 0-for-11 in Senate and proud of it

Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas has been on the losing side of every vote the Senate has taken in his young career — the only senator who can claim that distinction, boosting his anti-establishment credentials and earning him rave reviews from grass-roots conservatives. Published February 3, 2013

William "Mo" Cowan smiles Jan. 30, 2013, during a news conference at the Statehouse in Boston where he was selected to fill John F. Kerry's seat on an interim basis in the Senate. Kerry was confirmed by the Senate the previous day to be the nation's next secretary of state. (Associated Press

Governor's former aide to fill Kerry's Senate seat

Gov. Deval Patrick of Massachusetts tapped a former top aide Wednesday to fill John F. Kerry's seat on an interim basis in the Senate and said voters will pick someone to serve out the remainder of the Democrat's term in a special election this summer. Published January 30, 2013

McCain: Obama-Clinton '60 Minutes' interview not Biden's 'happiest day'

A top Senate Republican joked Wednesday that Vice President Joseph R. Biden probably had some additional heartburn after President Obama showered his outgoing Secretary of State Hillary Clinton with praise during a joint interview that aired on national television last week. Published January 30, 2013

Rubio takes big risk with stance on immigration

Marking the boldest move of his brief congressional career, Sen. Marco Rubio walked out on a limb this week by joining a move to pass comprehensive immigration reform — thrusting him into the middle of a thorny political debate that carries risk and reward for the freshman lawmaker. Published January 29, 2013

Rep. Paul Ryan, chairman of the House Budget Committee, was leaned on by Speaker John A. Boehner to persuade GOP lawmakers to temporarily back off the spending cuts they had asked for in any increase to the debt ceiling. (Associated Press)

Ryan key in debt ceiling increase

Looking to gin up support for a short-term increase in the nation's borrowing limit, House Speaker John A. Boehner turned to Rep. Paul Ryan earlier this month to persuade rank-and-file lawmakers to temporarily back off the dollar-for-dollar spending cuts they had demanded in any debt ceiling hike. Published January 28, 2013

**FILE** Sen. Tom Harkin, Iowa Democrat (Associated Press)

Harkin will not seek another term in the Senate

Sen. Tom Harkin announced Saturday that he will not seek another term in office — putting another dent in Democrats' chances of hanging onto control of the Senate in the 2014 election. Published January 26, 2013