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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

Tax cuts, federal budget await Congress' return from holiday

Coming off an election in which voters unleashed their fury over Washington's perceived inability to grapple with tough issues, lawmakers spent much of the first week of the lame-duck session going after low-hanging fruit while leaving a number of big-ticket items on the table. Published November 22, 2010

Debt commission co-chairman predicts 'bloodbath'

A leader of President Obama’s bipartisan deficit-reduction commission on Friday predicted that there will be a “bloodbath” on Capitol Hill next year when lawmakers consider increasing the nation’s debt ceiling, which could force both parties to take their recommendations seriously. Published November 19, 2010

Democrats to push for end of 'don't ask, don't tell' now

The push to end the policy barring openly gay men and women from serving in the military has new life on Capitol Hill, where lawmakers have announced plans to push forward with their efforts despite opposition from most Republicans. Published November 18, 2010

Democrats call for vote on gays in military

Sen. Joseph Lieberman said party leaders are the last remaining obstacles to a vote that would likely lead to the repeal the policy barring open gays from serving in the military. Published November 18, 2010

U.S. Congress
Sen. Peter V. Domenici, co-chairman of the task force, calls the growing deficit "a quiet killer."

Bipartisan panel urges tax breaks, spending cuts

A bipartisan task force on Wednesday called for Congress and President Obama to enact a Social Security payroll tax holiday and a "debt-reduction sales tax" as part of a sweeping plan aimed at getting the government's financial house in order. Published November 17, 2010

Senate GOP curtails earmarks

Senate Republicans on Tuesday voted to ban "pork-barrel" spending as a couple of Democrats rushed to join the fight on a politically potent issue that has enraged voters and helped give rise to the GOP's "tea party"-infused midterm election victories. Published November 16, 2010

McConnell agrees to temporary earmark ban

Bowing to political pressure from conservatives in his party and to voter anxiety over the federal budget, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell on Monday reversed course and supported a temporary ban on earmarks in order to show he is serious about cutting federal spending. Published November 15, 2010

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Kentucky Republican

McConnell backs earmark ban

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said Monday he will support an earmark ban in the Senate Republican conference, a move that appears to leave House Democrats as the sole supporters of pork-barrel spending. Published November 15, 2010

Lame-duck Congress to confront agenda of competing demands

Lawmakers returning Monday for the start of the lame-duck session on Capitol Hill face an age-old political conundrum: How to respond to voter anger over federal spending without cutting into the entitlement programs and tax breaks that so many of their constituents enjoy. Published November 11, 2010

Sen. Jim DeMint, South Carolina Republican (AP Photo)

GOP senators ask colleagues to back ban on earmarks

A group of Senate conservatives issued an early challenge to their Republican colleagues, calling on them in an open letter to support a ban on earmarks — a stance the House GOP embraced earlier this year. Published November 9, 2010

Sen. Olympia J. Snowe, Maine Republican, could face a "tea party" primary challenger from the right in 2012. (Associated Press)

Maine's Snowe next 'tea party' target?

Republicans last week painted the country's northeastern corner red last week, grabbing control of the state House, Senate and governor's mansion in Maine for the first time in more than four decades in a stunning electoral sweep. Published November 8, 2010

Republicans net at least six Senate seats

Republicans held all of their Senate seats left open by retirements and picked off several seats held by Democrats to capture at least six seats in the midterm election, giving them a louder voice in the legislative chamber most likely to shape President Obama's agenda for the next two years. Published November 3, 2010

Democrats try to stir enthusiasm among black voters

Democrats are turning to black voters for help in next week's midterm elections, hoping they can be the jolt of energy needed to stem projected losses by winning key competitive congressional and gubernatorial races. Published October 26, 2010

Senate race a litmus test for Pennsylvania

Two weeks out from Election Day, Republican Pat Toomey appears poised to lead a Republican surge in Pennsylvania in a Senate race that will test just how deeply the state's "blue" roots run. Published October 18, 2010

ASSOCIATED PRESS Senate majority leader Harry Reid, Dem. Nevada, speaks to supporters during a rally Tuesday, Oct. 12, 2010, in Las Vegas. Former president Bill Clinton spoke at the rally in support of Reid for the upcoming midterm elections.

Candidates aim to tar rivals over the outsourcing of jobs

With unemployment stuck above 9 percent, Democrats have increasingly seized on outsourcing of U.S. jobs as a campaign issue, arguing the GOP's policies have encouraged companies to shift work overseas. Published October 14, 2010

Associated Press
TOUGH GUY: Brock Lesnar is the heavyweight champion in the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

Mixed martial arts promoters flex Hill muscle

As the sport of mixed martial arts has fought for the respect and market share enjoyed by the nation's more established professional pastimes, the industry's biggest player has found that money talks in the halls of Congress and in statehouses across the country. Published October 11, 2010

Minority hopefuls add color to monochrome GOP

Republicans are poised to add a splash of color to the ranks of its officeholders in November's elections, challenging the notion that the party is a de facto white guys' club. Published October 5, 2010

Retreating lawmakers leave long 'to do' list

Congressional Democrats decamped from Washington this week for the campaign trail, saying they've checked off most of the boxes on their legislative wish list: health care, the stimulus package and new rules of the road for Wall Street. Published September 30, 2010