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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

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

At Hill rally, tea partyers turn up heat on Boehner

House Speaker John A. Boehner praised tea partyers Thursday morning, and then members of the grass-roots movement assailed him in the afternoon, saying the Ohio Republican shouldn't give in to Democrats' demands in the spending battle in Congress, even if that results in a government shutdown. Published March 31, 2011

'FRUSTRATED': Tea Party Patriots co-founder Mark Meckler calls the rally a way "to prepare for the 2012 election." (Associated Press)

Tea party to storm Capitol for 'gut check'

Miffed at the inability of Republicans to deliver on promises of deep cuts in federal spending, tea partyers will converge on the Capitol on Thursday to warn both parties about political repercussions if they don't act. Published March 30, 2011

**FILE** Sen. Richard J. Durbin, Illinois Democrat

Senate Democrats back American Muslims

Less than three weeks after a much-criticized House Republican hearing on the radicalization of American Muslims, Senate Democrats countered Tuesday with a hearing of their own — this one focusing on protecting the civil rights of Muslims. Published March 29, 2011

U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner said he doesn't think Japan's troubles will affect U.S. borrowing costs and interest rates. (Bloomberg)

Fears rise that Japan could sell off U.S. debt

Some lawmakers and market analysts are expressing rising concerns that a demand for capital by earthquake-ravaged Japan could lead it to sell off some of its huge holdings of U.S.-issued debt, leaving the federal government in an even tighter financial pinch. Published March 24, 2011

Defense cuts a tough sell in bid to curb deficit

Congressional leaders have spent months telling voters that all spending must be on the table, but so far the rhetoric is ringing hollow on Capitol Hill, where defense cuts remain a tough sell. Published March 23, 2011

Tea party darling Bachmann emerging as force on the Hill

For a person prone to the occasional political gaffe, Rep. Michele Bachmann can also stay relentlessly on message — traits that have made the tea party favorite both the butt of late-night jokes and a force to be reckoned with on Capitol Hill. Published March 22, 2011

Lawmakers concerned about U.S. role in Libya

Key congressional leaders on Sunday said President Obama must do a better job of defining the U.S. role in leading the coalition imposing a "no-fly zone" on Libya and how far the military is prepared to go to drive Libyan leader Col. Moammar Gadhafi from power. Published March 20, 2011

Aid targeted for nations that 'don't like us'

Seeking to shut off federal aid going to foreign countries that "don't like us," a Texas Republican congressman said Wednesday that lawmakers should vote separately on funding for every foreign nation receiving taxpayer money. Published March 16, 2011

Rep. Peter T. King, New York Republican and chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, confers Thursday with an aide during a hearing, "The Extent of Radicalization in the American Muslim Community and that Community's Response." He said it was the first in a series of such hearings. (Drew Angerer/The Washington Times)

King stands by hearing on Islamic radicals

Pushing back against a firestorm of criticism, the chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee said Thursday his hearings on the radicalization of Muslims in the U.S. shouldn't be viewed as an assault on any particular faith, but rather an effort to highlight a violent offshoot of Islam that continues to threaten the nation. Published March 10, 2011

Rep. Darrell Issa, California Republican, says President Obama's idea of a pay freeze is not a freeze because it allows for step increases for federal employees. (Associated Press)

GOP pushes total pay freeze

House Republicans took aim Wednesday at President Obama's proposed federal pay freeze, saying that his promise is bogus because the freeze still allows for automatic wage increases that also should be put on ice. Published March 9, 2011

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Nevada Democrat, speaks to reporters after his party's weekly policy luncheon on Capitol Hill on Tuesday. (Associated Press)

Senate set to kill parties' competing spending-cut bills

House Republicans said Tuesday they will likely have to write another short-term spending bill to avert a government shutdown on March 18, as a deal over funding the final seven months of the fiscal year remained elusive. Published March 8, 2011

Rep. Peter T. King

GOP leaders back hearings on Muslims

Saying extremist elements of Islam are a real threat that need to be confronted, House Republican leaders on Tuesday defended the Homeland Security Committee chairman's decision to begin hearings this week to investigate the inroads radical Muslims have made in America. Published March 8, 2011

** FILE ** California Rep. Kevin McCarthy. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, File)

House Republican whip sees new funding impasse

House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy, the third-ranking House Republican, said Tuesday that Congress will have to pass another short-term spending bill in the coming weeks because of Senate Democrats' failure to act. Published March 8, 2011

Rep. Lamar Smith, Texas Republican, said Tuesday that a Pew Hispanic Center report showed more than 7 million people are working in the country illegally and noted that the unemployment rates in minority communities are well above the national average. (Associated Press)

Jobless rates of minorities linked to illegals

Calling for stricter enforcement of existing laws, House Republicans said Tuesday the nation's broken immigration system is making it more difficult for minorities to land jobs because they are competing with illegals willing to work longer hours for less pay. Published March 1, 2011

Former Sen. Judd Gregg said, "the House is much closer to the intensity of feeling in the American public on ... spending and deficit and debt than the Senate is." (Associated Press)

Hill leaders are contrast in spending styles

With the federal government sinking deeper into red ink and a government shutdown looming, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has proposed pushing back the deadline for spending cuts and instead have the Senate take up an unrelated bill to revamp U.S. patent law — a measure that has nothing to do with the raging fiscal battle. Published February 24, 2011

Stimulus funds aim to help kick cigarettes

New York City is pouring hundreds of thousands of federal dollars into television ads telling people they're better off knocking back a glass of seltzer water or fat-free milk than chugging a soda — part of hundreds of millions of dollars from President Obama's economic stimulus package devoted to getting Americans to change their behavior by eating more veggies, kicking cigarettes and picking up dumbbells. Published February 17, 2011

GOP takes aim at stimulus cash

Heading into the second anniversary of President Obama's stimulus bill, House Republicans are taking their first real swing at its spending, with proposals that they say would ultimately strip tens of billions of dollars from the $814 billion package. Published February 15, 2011