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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

Rep. Steny H. Hoyer

GOP finds politics of Patriot Act tricky

House Republicans lost their first vote of the year this week on a measure to extend the USA Patriot Act after failing to count noses within their own caucus and shedding the support of dozens of Democrats who voted against the very same provisions they approved a year ago when they were in charge. Published February 10, 2011

Va.'s Webb won't seek second Senate term

Virginia Sen. Jim Webb said Wednesday that he will not seek re-election, increasing the chances that Republicans will be able to take the seat back from Democrats in the 2012 election. Published February 9, 2011

Deficit diggers now vow to fill hole

While Democrats and Republicans say they are ready to begin filling in the nation's deep borrowing hole, budget hawks remain skeptical of lawmakers' ability to fulfill their vow, given that many of them did the digging in the first place. Published February 8, 2011

Rep. Paul Ryan, Wisconsin Republican, is chairman of the House Budget Committee.

House GOP leader sets budget-cut goal short of party's pledge

The chairman of the House Budget Committee on Thursday said the House will cut at least $44 billion from last year's non-security discretionary spending — an amount that falls short of the GOP's pledge just months ago to return to pre-stimulus levels. Published February 3, 2011

Republicans find places to cut $43 billion

The Republicans who control of the purse strings in the House announced plans Thursday to cut basic domestic spending by at least $43 billion this year through reductions to most federal departments — though they still fell short of the GOP's pledge just months ago to return to pre-stimulus levels. Published February 3, 2011

Congress to rewrite rules on emissions

Republicans and Democrats on Capitol Hill announced separate plans this week to try to block the Obama administration from unilaterally imposing limits on greenhouse gas emissions, ratcheting up pressure on Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to hold a vote. Published February 2, 2011

U.S.-Canada border called 'grossly underprotected'

The top two senators on the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee said Tuesday the federal government has control of only 32 miles of the 4,000-mile-border with Canada, providing terrorists with what could be an easier entry point than the southern border. Published February 1, 2011

Sen. Mark Warner (left), Virginia Democrat, and Sen. Saxby Chambliss, Georgia Republican, are working on a bill that incorporates controversial recommendations from the president's fiscal commission. Mr. Warner said Monday that Congress must cut federal spending, "including entitlement programs," enact comprehensive tax reform and "grow the economy by adopting an innovation and growth agenda." He added, "It will require all three of those elements because no single one of them alone will get the job done." (Associated Press)

Lawmakers wary of touching entitlements

Plans targeting federal spending are coming fast and furious on Capitol Hill, but lawmakers are treading lightly around the big three of entitlement programs — Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. Published January 31, 2011

Paul

Sen. Paul says tea party holds power on Hill

To those who predicted that the tea party movement would get swallowed up by Washington, Sen. Rand Paul says the cynics have got it completely backward — it's the tea party that has co-opted Capitol Hill. Published January 27, 2011

GOP hearings put health law, oil spill under scrutiny

House Republicans drove home the new political reality on Capitol Hill on Wednesday by convening a series of hearings aimed at scrutinizing President Obama's first two years in office and sending a message against what they see as his expansive government agenda. Published January 26, 2011

Lawmaker wants to set terms on U.N.

Arguing that the United States can no longer blindly turn over billions of dollars to the United Nations, members of the House Foreign Affairs Committee said the new Congress should withhold contributions to the global body until it adopts serious reforms. Published January 25, 2011

Tea party wary of spending cut vows

Leaders of a nationwide tea party group say they are heartened by early steps the new Republican majority has taken in the House, but they remain concerned that GOP leaders could walk away from campaign promises when it comes to cutting spending and reducing the national debt. Published January 24, 2011

House GOP works on health 'solutions'

Wasting no time, House Republicans moved quickly ahead Thursday with their own overhaul of the nation's health care system, commanding key committees to get to work and launching a fresh attack on federal policies regarding abortion funding. Published January 20, 2011

House pulls plug on health care law

House Republicans on Wednesday scored their first victory in their long-shot bid to scrap President Obama's health care overhaul, delivering a repeal bill to the Senate and a stiff rebuke of White House policy that will help shape the political landscape over the weeks, months and years to come. Published January 19, 2011

"Cutting the [U.N.] budget is not enough, because you need to reform the monster, you need to reform the beast, and if you don't get fundamental reform, you are still rewarding a corrupt, mismanaged agency," said House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairwoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen. (Associated Press)

House panel eyes reforms in U.N.

The new Republican majority in the House is poised to revive some old battles over the U.S. government's financial contribution to the United Nations, vowing once again to use the power of America's purse to force what it calls needed reforms at the world body. Published January 17, 2011

"It is telling that the more Americans learn about it, the more discouraged they are by its harmful effects," new House Majority Leader Eric Cantor said Sunday about the new health care law. (Associated Press)

Parties' talking points spin health care law

With consumers already enjoying prescription-drug discounts, expanded health coverage for young adults, and insurance plans for pre-existing conditions, Democrats say the Republican push to repeal the health care overhaul will encounter opposition from the growing number of people who benefit from it. Published January 16, 2011

Senator wants to mix it up at Obama address

Sen. Mark Udall wants his colleagues to adopt a new seating arrangement, calling on lawmakers to break with tradition by sitting next to a member of the opposing party during President Obama's State of the Union address Jan. 25. Published January 12, 2011

Health-law fight highlights CBO balancing act

In rolling out their "Pledge to America" last year, House Republicans repeatedly cited Congressional Budget Office research as proof President Obama's health care overhaul was too expensive. Published January 12, 2011