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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

Sen. Ted Cruz, Texas Republican (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Ted Cruz now leads GOP presidential pack: poll

Fresh off his 21-hour filibuster against Obamacare funding, a new poll shows that Sen. Ted Cruz has leapfrogged past his potential rivals for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination and that GOP primary voters trust him more than their party leaders on Capitol Hill. Published September 27, 2013

Ted Cruz raises profile with filibuster, but fails to sway senators or voters

Sen. Ted Cruz's epic talk energized his tea party supporters and raised his profile ahead of the 2016 presidential contest, but there is little evidence that it fostered a rethink among voters or their elected representatives in the Senate, who said they didn't see an uptick in calls during the 21-hour affair. Published September 25, 2013

Polls show disdain for Obamacare, fewer back shutdown

Polls tend to show that a plurality of voters disapprove of Obamacare, but that they would rather see lawmakers carve out an alternative solution to the law than force a government shutdown to defund it. Published September 24, 2013

"I think of instead of the libertarian aspect of the Republican Party being a detriment, I actually think it has come full circle and it really is the way the Republican Party will grow," Sen. Rand Paul, Kentucky Republican, says of his political future. (Associated Press)

GOP's Rand Paul carving out his own campaign path

Despite trying to put distance between himself and his father, Sen. Rand Paul appears to be holding onto the supporters who powered former Rep. Ron Paul through the past two presidential campaigns. Published September 23, 2013

** FILE ** Rep. Paul Ryan, Wisconsin Republican

Rep. Paul Ryan spurs talk of White House run with book deal

Rep. Paul Ryan — former vice presidential candidate, current Wisconsin congressman and rumored White House candidate for 2016 — has scored a deal for a book, due out in August, commenting on the state of conservatism and the way of the Republican Party's future. Published September 23, 2013

** FILE ** Sen. Rand Paul, Kentucky Republican, addresses the 114th annual national convention of the Veterans of Foreign Wars on Monday, July 22, 2013, at the Kentucky International Convention Center in Louisville, Ky. (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley)

Paul: Liberty movement is winning and could help GOP win too

Sen. Rand Paul told members of the liberty movement that they've been "winning" the big policy battles on Capitol Hill and that their message could grow even stronger in the coming years if former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton becomes the next Democratic nominee for president. Published September 19, 2013

** FILE ** Caroline Kennedy of New York looks to members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee during a Sept. 19, 2013, hearing on Capitol Hill on her nomination for Ambassador to Japan. (Associated Press)

Caroline Kennedy 'humbled' by nomination as U.S. ambassador to Japan

Caroline Kennedy appeared to be well on her way Thursday to become the first woman to serve as U.S. ambassador to Japan, after members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee showered her with praise and said she is well-suited for the job. Published September 19, 2013

** FILE ** Acting Internal Revenue Service chief Danny Werfel. (Associated Press)

IRS spied on tea party after granting tax-exempt status

Republicans investigating the IRS targeting scandal said Wednesday that the agency continued to conduct secret surveillance on tea party groups even after approving them for tax-exempt status. Published September 18, 2013

**FILE** Sen. Rand Paul, Kentucky Republican, talks March 7, 2013, to reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington. (Associated Press)

Rand Paul: Misguided sentencing laws hurt black defendants

Sen. Rand Paul told his Senate colleagues Wednesday that the nation's mandatory minimum sentencing laws disproportionately affect the black community and need to be changed — putting the Kentucky Republican at the front of a push on Capitol Hill to move away from decades of punitive drug policies. Published September 18, 2013

House Speaker John A. Boehner, Ohio Republican, walks to join other GOP House members for a caucus meeting on Capitol Hill in Washington on Tuesday, Sept. 10, 2013. Some conservative Republicans want to shut down the government on Oct. 1 if that's what it takes to block the Obamacare health program. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

GOP wants Justice to change ruling on Louisiana vouchers

House GOP leaders came to the defense of school-choice advocates Tuesday, calling on the Justice Department to reconsider its legal opposition to a popular school voucher program in Louisiana that gives some students from low-income families the chance to escape failing education systems. Published September 17, 2013

Lois Lerner, head of the Internal Revenue Service unit that decides whether to grant tax-exempt status, was put on administrative leave after she declared her innocence but refused to answer congressional questions about the targeting. (Associated Press)

Emails show IRS' Lois Lerner specifically targeted tea party

Lois G. Lerner, the woman at the center of the Internal Revenue Service scandal over special scrutiny of conservative groups, specifically targeted tea party applications and directed that they be held up in 2011 in order to come up with an agency policy, according to several of Ms. Lerner's emails released by a House committee Thursday. Published September 12, 2013

** FILE ** Rep. Paul Ryan, Wisconsin Republican

Rep. Paul Ryan opposes Obama's Syria plan

Rep. Paul Ryan announced Wednesday that he opposes President Obama's push for military strikes in Syria, saying that the administration has bungled the situation and damaged the nation's credibility on the global stage. Published September 11, 2013