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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.

Sen. Thomas R. Carper, Delaware Democrat (Associated Press)

D.C. statehood hearing seeks 'thoughtful solution' to lack of voting rights

A Democratic senator held the first congressional hearing on D.C. statehood in 20 years to "restart the conversation" about the city's lack of voting representation on Capitol Hill, but the discussion barely got off the ground before a top Republican quickly dismissed the summit as a one-sided look at a measure that's going nowhere. Published September 15, 2014

Rep. Christopher H. Smith, New Jersey Republican, said that while the Treasury isn't cutting a check to directly pay for abortions, the second part of the Hyde Amendment says no funds "shall be expended for health benefits coverage that includes coverage of abortion." (Associated Press)

All Obamacare plans in 5 states cover abortion in potential violation of law

All of the health plans offered by Obamacare exchanges in five states include coverage for abortions in a potential violation of the law that says at least two plans must be available to consumers who don't want any association with the controversial procedure, according to a government audit released late Monday. Published September 15, 2014

Sen. Lindsey Graham says the Chris Christie scandal is a reflection on the New Jersey governor even though some of his aides were at the center of it. "It seems to me that this whole bridge thing reinforces a narrative that's troublesome about the guy. He's kind of a bully," the South Carolina Republican says. (Associated Press)

Republicans unconvinced Obama taking Islamic State threat seriously enough

The Obama administration struggled Sunday to define its strategy for beating back the Islamic State in Iraq and particularly in Syria, where its plan to rely on moderate fighters at this stage is complicating President Obama's sales pitch to Congress and his legacy of winding down wars in the Middle East. Published September 14, 2014

House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, asks a questions on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, April 9, 2014, during the committee's hearing about the Boston Marathon Bombings leading up to the year anniversary of the attack. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

Rep. McCaul: Islamic State doesn't fit into Obama's 'narrative'

The chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee said Sunday that President Obama can't seem to "get his head around" the threat the Islamic State poses as it grabs territory in Iraq and Syria and releases gruesome videos of hostage beheadings. Published September 14, 2014

** FILE ** Internal Revenue Service Commissioner John Koskinen testifies under subpoena before the House Oversight Committee as lawmakers continue their probe of whether tea party groups were improperly targeted for increased scrutiny by the IRS, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Monday, June 23, 2014. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Bipartisan doubts emerge on IRS ability to handle Obamacare

IRS Commissioner John Koskinen went to Capitol Hill Wednesday to talk about Obamacare. But inevitably, he faced questions about the political targeting scandal that hit the revenue agency shortly before he took the reins. Published September 10, 2014

Rep. Michael C. Burgess, Texas Republican (Associated Press)

House GOP pushes bill to let insurers ignore Obamacare standards

The House Rules Committee cleared the way Tuesday for another debate on poking holes in Obamacare — this time over a bill that would let insurers offer employer-based health plans that do not comply with the law's coverage standards for several more years. Published September 9, 2014