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Tom Howell Jr.

Tom Howell Jr.

Tom Howell Jr. covers politics for The Washington Times. He can be reached at thowell@washingtontimes.com.

Articles by Tom Howell Jr.

The HealthCare.gov website (AP Photo/Don Ryan, File)

Obamacare signups hit 9.5 million with month still left to go

About 9.5 million Americans selected Obamacare plans with a month to spare before the Feb. 15 deadline to sign up, meaning the Obama administration likely will far exceed its modest enrollment goals for the law's health exchanges in 2015. Published January 27, 2015

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence delivers his State of the State address to a joint session of the legislature at the Statehouse in Indianapolis, Tuesday, Jan. 13, 2015. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

Indiana Gov. Pence says Obama admin. has approved his Medicaid plan

The Obama administration has approved Indiana's twist on Medicaid expansion, Gov. Mike Pence announced Tuesday, casting the reforms as a consumer-driven overhaul to insure up to 350,000 low-income Hoosiers while distancing himself from Obamacare. Published January 27, 2015

Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell speaks at the Treasury Department in Washington on July 28, 2014. (Associated Press) ** FILE **

HHS outlines shift away from Medicare fee-for-service model

The Obama administration on Monday set a timeline for historic changes in how it compensates doctors, hospitals and other providers under Medicare, shifting from line-item payments for every service rendered to a system that rewards quality. Published January 26, 2015

A Houthi Shiite fighter shows support for his comrades after seizing the capital in Sanaa, Yemen. President Obama has yet to reveal a response. (Associated Press)

Yemen coup shows Obama lacks Middle East terror strategy, critics say

The Yemeni government's fall to Iran-backed Shiite militants last week is only the latest sign that Tehran is "on the march" and that President Obama needs a battle plan to rout extremists across the Middle East, the administration's critics charged Sunday. Published January 25, 2015

U.S. President Barack Obama waves to the media, with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi standing beside him during a ceremonial reception at the Indian Presidential Palace in New Delhi, India, Sunday, Jan. 25, 2015. Obama is the first American leader to be invited to attend India's Republic Day festivities, which commence Monday and mark the anniversary of the enactment of the country's democratic constitution. (AP Photo/Saurabh Das)

Obama: U.S. can't play 'whack-a-mole' by sending troops to Yemen

President Obama held out hope Sunday for a political solution to the burgeoning crisis in Yemen, where Iran-backed Shiite Houthi rebels have overrun the capital of Sanaa and upset U.S. operations against al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, a particularly dangerous wing of the Sunni terrorist group. Published January 25, 2015

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee waits backstage before speaking during the Freedom Summit in Des Moines, Iowa.  (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

Mike Huckabee says he will announce presidential plans in spring

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee says he won't decide on a presidential bid until spring. But he basically threw his hat in the ring Sunday, shoring up his opposition to Common Core education standards and walking a fine line on immigration as the GOP primary season heats up. Published January 25, 2015

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., speaks on Capitol Hill in Washington in this June 4, 2014, file photo. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

John McCain: Iran 'on the march'

Sen. John McCain said Sunday that Iran is "on the march" and that President Obama lacks a strategy to deal with the Islamic republic, ratcheting up a tense standoff between congressional Republicans and the White House. Published January 25, 2015

FILE - This file image taken from an online video released by the Islamic State group's al-Furqan media arm on Tuesday, Jan. 20, 2015, purports to show the group threatening to kill two Japanese hostages that the militants identify as Kenji Goto Jogo, left, and Haruna Yukawa, right, unless a $200 million ransom is paid within 72 hours.  Japan's government is investigating a new message purported to be from the Islamic State group Saturday, Jan. 24, 2015 holding two Japanese hostages. The Associated Press could not verify the contents of the message, which varied greatly from previous videos released by the Islamic State group, which now holds a third of both Syria and Iraq. (AP Photo, File)

U.S. reiterates refusal to negotiate with Islamic State over hostages

The U.S. will not pay ransoms or swap prisoners to satisfy the Islamic State and spring hostages from their grip in Iraq and Syria, President Obama's chief of staff said Sunday, as Japan mourned the apparent beheading of one of its citizens at the hands of the terrorist group. Published January 25, 2015

'UNBREAKABLE BOND': Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Obama both said reports about more distant relations in the past year were "wrong." Mr. Netanyahu visited Mr. Obama in the Oval Office and talked with a group of reporters. (Associated Press)

White House again denounces Congress invite to Netanyahu

The White House sought the high ground Sunday in objecting to House Republicans' decision to invite Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to address Congress without President Obama's blessing, saying it is foolhardy to disrupt negotiations with Iran as the Islamic Republic seeks a nuclear weapon. Published January 25, 2015

House Speaker John A. Boehner said that after the upcoming GOP House retreat, the Republicans will have a better plan on how to cancel out President Obama's amnesty. (Associated Press)

House votes to ban taxpayer-funded abortions

While tens of thousands of pro-life marchers teemed the streets outside the Capitol, the House voted Thursday to cement a ban on taxpayer funding for abortions under Obamacare. Published January 22, 2015

FILE - In this May 21, 2013 file photo, Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah listens on Capitol Hill in Washington. Republican senators poised to lead major committees when the GOP takes charge are intent on pushing back many of President Barack Obama's policies, setting up potential showdowns over environmental rules, financial regulations and national security. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, File)

Sen. Orrin Hatch eyes every tool to take down Obamacare

Senate Finance Chairman Orrin Hatch vowed Tuesday to chip away at Obamacare, "piece by piece," saying he hasn't ruled out the use of a powerful, yet complex, budget process to seriously dent the law. Published January 20, 2015