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Seth McLaughlin

Seth McLaughlin, a reporter on the Politics Desk, can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter: @SethMcLaughlin1

Articles by Seth McLaughlin

Political parties struggle with gay marriage issue

Gay marriage goes to the Supreme Court this week, but it's already a major dividing line in the 2016 presidential primaries, where Democrats are scrambling to embrace it and Republicans are searching for a way to balance their traditional beliefs with a new focus on being a kinder, gentler party. Published March 24, 2013

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

Rand Paul maps quick path to balanced budget

Sen. Rand Paul formally rolled out his 2014 budget blueprint on Friday, offering a combination of tax and spending proposals that he said would balance the federal budget in five years without raising taxes. Published March 22, 2013

**FILE** A worker throws a piece of meat among cattle carcass scraps dropped into a truck at the Hallmark Meat Packing slaughterhouse in Chino, Calif., on Jan. 30, 2008. (Associated Press)

Senate votes to keep White House closed, slaughterhouses open

Senators voted Wednesday to make the first significant changes to the budget sequesters, shifting money to keep slaughterhouse inspectors on the job full time but refusing to rearrange money to reopen the White House for public tours. Published March 20, 2013

CPAC 2013: Marco Rubio, Rand Paul get a boost as conservatives endorse new generation

As the Republican Party ponders its future, this year's Conservative Political Action Conference showcased two men who could be its leader: Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, who activists saw as the man who can unite their movement, and Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, who has staked his claim to be the GOP's fighting heart. Published March 17, 2013

Ann Coulter (Associated Press) **FILE**

CPAC 2013: Ann Coulter slaps Christie with fat joke

Conservative commentator and author Ann Coulter used the recent "sequester" cuts to make a fat joke about New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who was not invited to the American Conservative Union's Conservative Political Action Conference. Published March 16, 2013

Former Alaska governor Sarah Palin leaves the stage carrying a 7-Eleven 'super big gulp' cup after speaking during the final day of the 2013 Conservative Political Action Conference in Fort Washington, Md. on March 16, 2013. The drink was a reference to an effort in New York City to ban sodas and sugary drinks from being sold in containers larger than 16 ounces, an effort that was struck down recently by a state Supreme Court judge.
(T.J. Kirkpatrick/Special to The Washington Times)

CPAC 2013 FLASHBACK: Palin takes aim at Obama, Bloomberg and Rove

Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, the party's 2008 vice presidential nominee, blasted away at President Obama on Saturday with a flurry of verbal jabs and zingers that revved up the thousands gathered for the 40th annual Conservative Political Action Conference. Published March 16, 2013

Jeb Bush (R), former Governor of Florida, speaks during a dinner engagement at the Conservative Political Action Conference (C.P.A.C.) held at the Gaylord National Hotel, National Harbor, Md., Friday, March 15, 2013. (Andrew S. Geraci/The Washington Times)

CPAC 2013: Jeb Bush calls for more inclusive Republican Party

Looking to step out from his brother's shadow, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush reached out to the largest annual gathering of conservatives on Friday, telling the thousands in attendance that in order to rebound from the disappointment of November, Republicans "need to be the party of inclusion and acceptance." Published March 16, 2013

Former Massachusetts Gov. and 2012 Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney speaks at the 40th annual Conservative Political Action Conference in National Harbor, Md. on March 15, 2013. (Andrew S. Geraci/The Washington Times)

CPAC 2013: Romney urges GOP to look to governors for guidance

Mitt Romney, the 2012 GOP presidential nominee, returned Friday to the political stage for the first time since his disappointing loss in the November election, urging conservatives to learn from the mistakes that he made on the campaign trail to take back the White House and Senate — and put conservative principles in place. Published March 15, 2013

Sen. Rand Paul, Kentucky Republican, speaks at the 40th annual Conservative Political Action Conference in National Harbor, Md., on March 14, 2013. (Associated Press

CPAC 2013: Youth-favorite Rand Paul chastises 'stale and moss-covered' GOP

Fresh off his filibuster that captured the hearts of libertarian conservatives, Sen. Rand Paul told attendees Thursday at the Conservative Political Action Conference that the Republican Party has become "stale" and must return to basic constitutional principles if it wants to ignite a political revolution. Published March 14, 2013

** FILE ** Sen. Marco Rubio, Florida Republican, speaks at the 40th annual Conservative Political Action Conference in National Harbor, Md., on March 14, 2013. (Associated Press)

CPAC 2013: Rubio urges conservatives to champion middle class

Sen. Marco Rubio said Thursday that conservatives need to be the "voice" for the middle class, saying that the federal government must adopt pro-business and pro-growth policies that will help create jobs, and get the nation's fiscal house in order. Published March 14, 2013

CPAC 2013: Bush’s legacy lingers over new GOP stars

President George W. Bush's shadow still hangs over the Republican Party four years after he left office, and as conservatives converge on the Washington region this week they will find themselves once again grappling with his legacy — more so now that his younger brother, Jeb, is flirting with a 2016 presidential bid and has been invited to address the annual gathering. Published March 13, 2013

J. Christopher Jankowski, president of the Republican State Leadership Committee (RSLC). (Andrew S. Geraci/The Washington Times)

GOP seeks ‘messengers’ to Hispanics; point man lays out work to be done

In the wake of the 2012 election, the Republican Party needs to recruit new messengers in the states to reach out to Hispanic voters, recruit minority candidates and carry the party's message of limited government to "a community that is understandably skeptical," the GOP's point man for bolstering the party at the state level said in an interview Tuesday. Published March 5, 2013

Sen. Rand Paul, Kentucky Republican, is calling for the GOP to adopt a more restrained and less interventionist approach to global affairs, and is embracing the sequester cuts to the defense budget that have military hawks in a tizzy. (Associated Press)

Marco Rubio, Rand Paul differ on Middle East

Sens. Marco Rubio and Rand Paul — in what could be a preview of a 2016 Republican presidential primary showdown — are staking out markedly different positions on U.S. intervention in the world, and particularly on American policy toward the Middle East Published March 3, 2013

Credit agencies shrug off sequesters

While lawmakers in Washington braced for disaster, the nation's big three credit rating agencies yawned at the sequester cuts set to kick in Friday, saying the trims won't hurt the credit-worthiness of the federal government as long as Congress doesn't stop there. Published February 28, 2013

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, pictured in his office at the Statehouse in Trenton, N.J., on Friday, Jan. 4, 2013,  has earned nearly universal praise for his handling of Superstorm Sandy, the state's worst natural disaster. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)

FLASHBACK: CPAC: Chris Christie snubbed for criticizing GOP on Sandy relief

The list of speakers at next month's CPAC, the nation's largest gathering of conservatives, will not include New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie — a snub the potential 2016 GOP presidential candidate earned, organizers said, because of his harsh criticism earlier this year of fellow Republicans over Superstorm Sandy spending. Published February 26, 2013