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Seth McLaughlin

Seth McLaughlin, a reporter on the Politics Desk, can be reached at Follow him on Twitter: @SethMcLaughlin1

Articles by Seth McLaughlin

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

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

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

** 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

Sen. Charles E. Schumer, New York Democrat, warns that when "you try to make cuts this deep to a slice of the budget this narrow, it is almost impossible to do responsibly."

Hill brawl awaits Obama's 2012 budget

When President Obama rolls out his 2012 budget Monday, it will sound the starting gun on a three-month sprint that will determine just how serious Washington is about translating its cost-cutting rhetoric into serious action to reduce staggering deficits. Published February 13, 2011

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

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

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

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