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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

William "Mo" Cowan smiles Jan. 30, 2013, during a news conference at the Statehouse in Boston where he was selected to fill John F. Kerry's seat on an interim basis in the Senate. Kerry was confirmed by the Senate the previous day to be the nation's next secretary of state. (Associated Press

Governor's former aide to fill Kerry's Senate seat

Gov. Deval Patrick of Massachusetts tapped a former top aide Wednesday to fill John F. Kerry's seat on an interim basis in the Senate and said voters will pick someone to serve out the remainder of the Democrat's term in a special election this summer. Published January 30, 2013

McCain: Obama-Clinton '60 Minutes' interview not Biden's 'happiest day'

A top Senate Republican joked Wednesday that Vice President Joseph R. Biden probably had some additional heartburn after President Obama showered his outgoing Secretary of State Hillary Clinton with praise during a joint interview that aired on national television last week. Published January 30, 2013

Rubio takes big risk with stance on immigration

Marking the boldest move of his brief congressional career, Sen. Marco Rubio walked out on a limb this week by joining a move to pass comprehensive immigration reform — thrusting him into the middle of a thorny political debate that carries risk and reward for the freshman lawmaker. Published January 29, 2013

Rep. Paul Ryan, chairman of the House Budget Committee, was leaned on by Speaker John A. Boehner to persuade GOP lawmakers to temporarily back off the spending cuts they had asked for in any increase to the debt ceiling. (Associated Press)

Ryan key in debt ceiling increase

Looking to gin up support for a short-term increase in the nation's borrowing limit, House Speaker John A. Boehner turned to Rep. Paul Ryan earlier this month to persuade rank-and-file lawmakers to temporarily back off the dollar-for-dollar spending cuts they had demanded in any debt ceiling hike. Published January 28, 2013

**FILE** Sen. Tom Harkin, Iowa Democrat (Associated Press)

Harkin will not seek another term in the Senate

Sen. Tom Harkin announced Saturday that he will not seek another term in office — putting another dent in Democrats' chances of hanging onto control of the Senate in the 2014 election. Published January 26, 2013

** FILE ** Rep. Paul Ryan, Wisconsin Republican, arrives at the ceremonial swearing-in for President Obama at the U.S. Capitol during the 57th Presidential Inauguration in Washington, Monday, Jan. 21, 2013. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Ryan: Obama achievements far less than advertised

The chairman of the House budget committee said Saturday that President Obama's second term will show that the benefits of his agenda "are far less than advertised" and will open the door for Republicans to show voters that "given the chance, we can govern." Published January 26, 2013

Rep. Tim Huelskamp of Kansas (Associated Press)

GOP lawmakers question debt deal

House GOP lawmakers seemed to have forged a greater sense of unity emerging from a three-day retreat in Virginia last week, after party leaders rolled out their plan to avoid a showdown with President Obama by temporarily raising the federal debt limit. Published January 22, 2013

President Obama talks with Vice President Joseph R. Biden in the presidential box during the inaugural parade down Pennsylvania Avenue en route to the White House on Jan. 21, 2013. (Associated Press)

Biden seems revved up and ready for 2016

Even as President Obama on Monday grasped the reins of power for another four years, the man who would be his successor — Vice President Joseph R. Biden — was never far away. Published January 21, 2013

** FILE ** House Speaker John A. Boehner, Ohio Republican, walks to his ceremonial office off the House floor to greet new members of Congress at the Capitol in Washington on Monday, Jan. 14, 2013. (Associated Press)

Boehner wants Senate budget before any final debt ceiling deal

Capping a three-day GOP retreat, House GOP leaders announced that next week they will pursue a three-month extension of the nation's borrowing limit to give Congress more time to pass a federal budget — warning that the proposal will also freeze members' pay if they fail to do their job. Published January 18, 2013

Rep. Paul Ryan (AP Photo)

At retreat, GOP advances debt-limit strategies

The chairman of the House Budget Committee on Thursday said the House GOP is considering a short-term extension of the nation's debt limit to buy Democrats and Republicans some additional time to hash out a long-term deficit-reduction deal, and to force a national conversation over the size and scope of the federal budget. Published January 17, 2013

** FILE ** House Speaker John A. Boehner, Ohio Republican, walks on Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2013, to the chamber at the Capitol in Washington for the final vote as the House of Representatives passed a $50.7 billion emergency aid bill for states hit by Superstorm Sandy. (Associated Press)

Viewed as out of touch, GOP gathers forces to plot rebirth

As House Republicans head to Williamsburg, Va., to talk strategy at their annual retreat, a top Democratic pollster warned Wednesday that voters think the GOP has fallen outside the mainstream on everything from taxes to gay rights. Published January 16, 2013

GOP recalls Obama, Biden opposed debt-limit hikes

President Obama's vow not to negotiate on the debt limit this year is a stark reversal for an administration whose two top officials both have a history of balking at debt hikes. Published January 14, 2013

Bill Pahlck wears a "Restore The Shore" sweatshirt Wednesday morning as he and others in Belmar, N.J., listen to Gov. Chris Christie describe rebuilding plans. The governor helped Belmar officials kick off construction of a 1.3-mile boardwalk to replace the one destroyed by Superstorm Sandy in October. (Associated Press)

Watchdog sees pork in Sandy relief bill

As Congress takes up the second slice of relief money for Superstorm Sandy, the influential Club for Growth said Monday it will seek to punish the lawmakers who support the $51 billion package because it includes wasteful spending and pork that have nothing to do with reconstruction efforts in the Northeast. Published January 14, 2013

John D. Rockefeller IV (Associated Press)

W.Va. Sen. Rockefeller’s exit shakes up ’14

The decision by Sen. John D. Rockefeller IV, West Virginia Democrat, not to seek another term in the Senate is the first dent in Democrats' chances of hanging onto power in the upper chamber in 2014 — and emblematic of the challenges the party faces in protecting seats they hold in red states. Published January 13, 2013

**FILE** Sen. Jay Rockefeller, West Virginia Democrat, speaks Aug. 3, 2011, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (Associated Press)

W.Va. Sen. Rockefeller won't seek re-election

Sen. Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia announced Friday that he will not seek a sixth term — ending a three-decade run in the upper chamber and giving Republicans some more hope that they can capture the seat in the 2014 election. Published January 11, 2013

Vice President Joseph R. Biden (right), accompanied by Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr., speaks during a meeting with sportsmen and sportswomen and wildlife interest groups on Thursday, Jan. 10, 2013, in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building at the White House complex in Washington. Mr. Biden is holding a series of meetings this week as part of the effort to develop policy proposals in response to the Newtown, Conn., school shootings. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Executive gun 'order' easier said than done

The administration is eyeing unilateral steps on gun control, but analysts said there are few things President Obama can do on his own because gun control is one area where Congress has jealously guarded its power to make the laws. Published January 10, 2013

**FILE** President Obama speaks at the South Court Auditorium at the White House in Washington on Dec. 31, 2012. (Associated Press)

‘Fiscal cliff’ deal boosts GDP share of taxes, spending

The tax deal President Obama and congressional Republicans struck last week will send government revenue soaring above its historic average, but did nothing to control spending, which remains stubbornly high. Published January 8, 2013

From left, U.S. Chamber of Commerce Chief Executive Tom Donohue, former Minnesota Gov. and GOP presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty, and, Jeffrey Zients of the Office of Management and Budget, walk from the White House after a meeting with White House staff regarding the fiscal cliff, Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2012, in Washington. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

‘Cliff’ talks center on targets of tax hikes

The crux of the negotiations between President Obama and House Speaker John A. Boehner is no longer about whether to raise tax rates, but about who would get hit. Published December 20, 2012