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We present a detailed theoretical formulation of the problem of an electron moving in a static electric field, a laser field, and an atomic potential. Our formulation treats the electron-atom interaction in the zero-range potential approximation and employs both the quasienergy approach and an analytic expression for the Green’s function describing electron propagation in a combination of static and laser electric fields. Our formulation is applied to one- and two-photon detachment of H- in a strong static electric field and takes into account all final-state interactions of the detached electron with the static and laser fields and with the atomic core. Our results show that rescattering effects are small in the case of one-photon detachment, where our results are close to those obtained previously by Gao and Starace [Phys. Rev. A 42, 5580 (1990)], who ignored rescattering effects but who found a strong-field treatment of the laser field to be important, even in the limit of weak laser fields, owing to interference terms involving both the laser and static electric fields. Our results for two-photon detachment of H-, on the other hand, show that rescattering effects are very significant. In the presence of a strong static electric field, moreover, the two-photon detachment cross section is found to be very sensitive to the magnitude of the static field.