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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

John Koskinen, President Barack Obama's choice to head the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2013, before the Senate Finance Committee hearing on his nomination. Koskinen, 74, is a retired corporate and government official with experience managing numerous organizations in crisis. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Obama's IRS nominee John Koskinen vows to restore public trust in agency

With the agency squarely in the hot seat over its role in vetting tea party groups and enforcing Obamacare, President Obama's choice to head the IRS vowed during his confirmation hearing Tuesday to restore the public's trust in the scandal-plagued agency. Published December 10, 2013

FILE - In this June 4, 2013 file photo, President Barack Obama gestures while speaking in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, June 4, 2013, to announce the judicial nominations including Patricia Ann Millett, right, to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. Senate Democrats have approved a key judicial nominee from President Barack Obama, the first nomination cleared since they weakened Senate filibuster rules.The Senate voted 56-38 to approve Millett's nomination to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia.  (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File)

Senate confirms Obama judge following filibuster rule change

The Senate confirmed Patricia Millett to the powerful federal appeals court in Washington, making her the first of President Obama's judicial picks to be approved since Democrats changed filibuster rules that potentially will usher in a new era of how nominees are confirmed. Published December 10, 2013

**FILE** Rep. Michael K. Simpson, Idaho Republican (Associated Press)

New battlefront emerges in war between Republicans, tea party

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce's new push to get involved in Republican primaries by defending incumbents against tea party challengers could actually make it easier to unseat them, according to the head of the influential Club for Growth. Published December 5, 2013

Sen. Elizabeth Warren has helped energize liberal Democrats who accuse the Obama administration of not fighting hard enough for issues they care about. (Associated Press)

Democratic infighting erupts over 'we can have it all' fantasy on entitlements

The Democratic rift over entitlements deepened this week as a top party contender for governor in Pennsylvania came under fire from liberals after a think tank of which she is co-chairwoman criticized economic-populism messages of Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and New York Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio. Published December 4, 2013

Sen. Mary L. Landrieu, Louisiana Democrat, is among the red-state Democrats who will be challenged during her re-election campaign about her support of President Obama's judicial nominees. (ASSOCIATED PRESS)

Conservatives turn heat on red-state Democrats over judges

Conservative groups are looking to make the Capitol Hill battle over President Obama's judicial nominees an issue in Senate elections in 2014 by arguing that red-state Democrats are "rubber-stamping" liberal judges. Published December 3, 2013

A screen shot from the Daniel Defense ad banned from airing during the Super Bowl.

'C'Mon Man! Run my ad!' Gun company CEO tells NFL

The head of a Georgia-based firearms manufacturer is urging NFL fans to call on the league to rethink its decision to not run the group's pro-gun rights ad during the 2014 Super Bowl. Published December 3, 2013

Party for party: Rep. Paul Ryan (right) of Wisconsin presents a cheesehead hat to Terry E. Branstad at the Iowa governor's 67th birthday bash.

GOP 2016 hopefuls already take aim at Iowa

The contest to become the 2016 Republican presidential nominee is a jump ball in Iowa, where even with the caucuses more than two years away, potential candidates are making the trek to see and be seen by the voters who will decide the first cut. Published December 2, 2013

FILE - In this Tuesday, Sept. 10, 2013 file photo, New York Democratic mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio embraces his son Dante, left, daughter Chiara, second left, and wife Chirlane McCray after polls closed in the city's primary election in New York. De Blasio and his wife settled in the Park Slope neighborhood of the Brooklyn borough of New York largely because they felt that their interracial relationship would be accepted there, the mayor-elect has said. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens, File)

The GOP's secret campaign weapon: NYC's uber-liberal new mayor Bill de Blasio

Bill de Blasio's win in New York City's mayoral race has put the Democrat in charge of the nation's largest city and smack in the middle of the nation's largest media market —giving him an unmatched platform both to pursue liberal policies and to cause all sorts of headaches for his party's leaders in Washington. Published November 28, 2013

The GOP hopes to pin Obamacare on Iowa Rep. Bruce L. Braley, the Democratic candidate to replace Sen. Tom Harkin, as the surest way to claim the seat in 2014. (Associated Press)

In Iowa, GOP hopes are high to win U.S. Senate seat with Harkin retirement

The pending retirement of longtime Sen. Tom Harkin, a Democrat, has given the Iowa GOP its first real shot in three decades at picking up an open Senate seat — and Republicans are hoping to ride the growing unrest over Obamacare to victory next year over Rep. Bruce L. Braley, the leading Democratic contender. Published November 24, 2013

Rep. Paul Ryan (right), Wisconsin Republican, talks with Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad after presenting him with a cheesehead hat during Mr. Branstad's birthday bash and fundraiser on Saturday, Nov. 16, 2013, in Altoona, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

Back in Iowa, Ryan finds himself at a political crossroads

Despite being on the losing 2012 presidential ticket, Rep. Paul Ryan's White House prospects have not dimmed in Iowa, where Republican insiders say he will get a strong look in the 2016 caucuses if he takes a crack at the nation's top elected office. Published November 17, 2013

Texas Comptroller Susan Combs visited Capitol Hill to pitch her idea for independent species research. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)

Texas calls for aid to put science into the Endangered Species Act

SOLUTION MAKERS: A top Texas official says it's time to improve the science that determines which animals get listed under the federal Endangered Species Act, calling on Congress to create a $50 million fund for independent research that also would factor in the economic damage to communities when a species is designated for protection. Published November 11, 2013