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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

Associated Press photographs
An unconventional politician, Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump has said that China should face taxes on imports until it stops manipulating its currency and that the U.S. should seize Iraq's oil fields to pay itself back for the cost of the war. But a retired GOP senator says few are taking his candidacy seriously.

GOP field has own 'change' ideas

The GOP base may not be overly excited about its early crop of White House hopefuls, but with one calling for an end to the Federal Reserve, some open to the legalization of marijuana and others pushing to scrap the tax code, it's hard to say they aren't delivering in spades for those craving real change in Washington. Published May 10, 2011

Brown challengers in Massachusetts starting to add up

The field of Democrats angling to challenge Sen. Scott Brown in Massachusetts next year got a little more crowded Monday when Newton Mayor Setti Warren announced his intent to seek his party's nomination. Published May 9, 2011

Republican primary voters in New Hampshire say it's natural to be attracted to a new face. Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty could be among the beneficiaries of that phenomenon if Mr. Romney falters.

In N.H., ambivalence on Romney

On paper, Mitt Romney is the favorite to win next year's GOP primary in New Hampshire - he ran a respectable second here in 2008 to eventual nominee John McCain, and as the 2012 cycle begins, he's the clear front-runner in a crowded field of would-be contenders. Published May 8, 2011

DNC elects Floridian as new chief

The Democratic National Committee formally tapped Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz as its new chairwoman Wednesday, opening a new chapter in the party's history as it looks to regain some of the footing lost to Republicans in last year's election. Published May 4, 2011

Further U.S. aid could hinge on what the Pakistanis knew

Several lawmakers said Tuesday that it is time to rethink U.S. aid to Pakistan in light of revelations that Osama bin Laden spent the past six years squirreled away in a safe house a mere football field away from one of country's top military academies and miles from the capital of Islamabad. Published May 3, 2011

Senators: Bin Laden photos may need to be released

The top lawmakers on the Senate Homeland Security Committee said that while they have no doubt that Osama bin Laden has been killed, it may be necessary to release some of the pictures to erase any suspicion that the mastermind of the Sept. 11 attacks is still alive. Published May 2, 2011

Obama gets praise for bold action

When news of Osama bin Laden's killing broke late Sunday, thousands of people thronged Pennsylvania Avenue to celebrate near the White House, while just 16 blocks away the streets near the Capitol were deserted — a stark reminder of how the responsibility for the daring assassination raid rested squarely on one man's shoulders. Published May 2, 2011

Guinta

Republican stays cool as he faces heat at town hall

Retiree Gary Patton made it clear early on during Rep. Frank C. Guinta's town hall meeting in Exeter, N.H., that he was not happy about the Republican's support for GOP proposals that would dramatically change Medicare. Published May 1, 2011

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (AP Photo)

Potential GOP hopefuls assail Obama administration

New Hampshire held what was billed as the first presidential summit of the 2012 campaign, as five potential Republican contenders took to a stage to level criticism at the Obama administration and deliver some of the political red meat that they thought the conservative crowd was yearning to hear. Published April 29, 2011

Brown

Democrats talk bravely of beating Brown

Massachusetts Democrats insist Sen. Scott Brown is vulnerable in next year's elections, arguing the surprise winner last year of the seat long held by Sen. Edward M. Kennedy has compiled such an uninspiring voting record that both Democrats and conservative Republicans will be gunning for him in 2012. Published April 28, 2011

Abortion votes will trail GOP in 2012 campaign

In a year when spending, deficits and debt have dominated the national debate, the recent push to strip Planned Parenthood of government funding is a reminder that the abortion issue retains its political potency. Published April 24, 2011

David Stockman (Associated Press)

Deficit talks bring effect of tax cuts center stage

The fast-approaching Capitol Hill battles on spending and deficit-reduction are going to test the notion that tax cuts pay for themselves - as both parties have started staking out ground in a debate over whether such cuts generate a big enough uptick in economic activity to offset the loss of revenue. Published April 21, 2011

Trump hits back at Rove, GOP critics

Donald Trump fired back at Karl Rove Tuesday for labeling his possible White House bid a "joke," saying the one-time senior George W. Bush adviser "should be ashamed of himself" for the role he played in pushing an agenda that turned voters against Republicans and paved the way for the Obama presidency. Published April 19, 2011

Donald Trump waves after addressing the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington in February 2011. (AP Photo)

Trump takes lumps in polls

A poll and a scathing message from an influential anti-tax group serve as a blunt reminder to Donald Trump that there's a long road ahead of him if he wants to be a serious contender for president. Published April 18, 2011

Court ruling allows tools to hinder tax reform

In a world where corporations and unions have growing influence over political races - thanks to a Supreme Court ruling last year - some lawmakers and fiscal hawks worry that the lack of restraints on these groups could cripple efforts to revamp the nation's tax system. Published April 13, 2011

Post-Tucson civility swamped by budget warfare

Just three months after President Obama's plea for civility after the mass shooting in Tucson, Ariz., it's back to business in Washington, where some lawmakers have returned to heated policy debates, verbal haymakers and accusing one another of wanting to kill Americans. Published April 11, 2011

Abortion fight looms large in spending debate endgame

Some House Republicans say de-funding the reproductive health care organization Planned Parenthood is so important that it is worth risking a government shutdown, to try to force Democrats hand as the two sides try to reach an agreement on a budget for the remainder of 2011. Published April 8, 2011

U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice told the House Foreign Affairs Committee on Thursday that the "Libya mission is not one that falls under U.N. accounting or U.S. budgeting. It is something we are undertaking in a national capacity." (Rod Lamkey Jr./The Washington Times)

Democrat says Libya costs run much higher

A Democratic lawmaker says the White House is "dramatically underestimating" the true cost of the military's involvement in Libya by relying on accounting that obscures the total financial burden being saddled on taxpayers. Published April 7, 2011

Budget hawks may not turn a blind eye to Pentagon

Despite a near-consensus on Capitol Hill on the need to cut spending, about a fifth of the federal budget has been placed entirely off limits: the Defense Department, which is so awash in cash that even its auditors have a tough time telling where all the money is going. Published April 6, 2011

Speaker of the House John A. Boehner, Ohio Republican, talks Tuesday about the budget proposed by Rep. Paul Ryan, Wisconsin Republican, who chairs the House Budget Committee. (Rod Lamkey Jr./The Washington Times)

Boehner feels heat over cuts in budget

Senate Democrats say the tea party is holding House Speaker John A. Boehner's leash, but in reality the grass-roots movement is anything but unified over the Ohio Republican and how he has handled the spending scrap on Capitol Hill. Published April 5, 2011