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Tom Howell Jr.

Tom Howell Jr.

Tom Howell Jr. covers politics for The Washington Times. He can be reached at

Articles by Tom Howell Jr.

FILE - In this Jan. 8, 2014 file photo, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla. speaks on Capitol Hill in Washington.  This is a year of auditioning, positioning, networking and just plain hard work for people who are considering running for president in 2016. You could see them stirring in 2013 as they plugged holes in resumes, took preliminary steps to build potential campaign organizations and made carefully calibrated moves to get better known by Americans generally and key constituencies in particular. Most _ but not all _ are ticking off items on what could be called the presidential prep checklist. And they’ve got baggage to deal with.  (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

Sen. Rubio slams Obamacare's obscure 'bailout'

Congressional Republicans took aim Wednesday at a piece of President Obama's health overhaul designed to "bail out" insurers if the law's economics do not work at the start, saying it ensures businesses make profits while taxpayers pick up the tab. Published February 5, 2014

President Barack Obama speaks to students and teachers, Education Department and Maryland officials at Buck Lodge Middle School in Adelphi, Md., Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2014, about the progress toward his ConnectED goal of connecting 99 percent of students to next-generation broadband and wireless technology within five years. President Obama has secured commitments from U.S. companies worth about $750 million to get more students connected to high-speed Internet. AT&T, Sprint, Apple and Microsoft are among the companies pitching in.    (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

Religious groups to back Obamacare contraceptive mandate

Some religious groups are backing the government in the Supreme Court case over the contraceptive mandate, saying that while they believe in the freedom of worship, the Obama administration's proposal to cover women's health is the least objectionable path forward. Published February 4, 2014

Campbell Wisconsin bans protest banners on highway overpasses.

Wisconsin duo sue city over anti-Obama banner ban

Two men sued a small Wisconsin town on Monday, arguing an ordinance banning them from posting American flags or anti-President Obama signs on overpasses was an attempt to “eviscerate” their First Amendment rights. Published February 3, 2014

** FILE ** Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2013, before the House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing on the difficulties plaguing the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)

Grim prognosis: No system to fix sign-up errors in

People who sought coverage on the federal Obamacare website are not able to fix errors that occurred when they tried to sign up on the balky system, leaving more than 20,000 Americans scrambling to scale back payments that are too high or obtain the correct health plan, according to a news report. Published February 3, 2014

South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley addresses the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., on Tuesday, Aug. 28, 2012. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

States resume efforts to gut Obamacare

After Obamacare's rocky rollout, lawmakers in state capitals around the country are back in session for the new year and once again going after the new health law, trying to stamp it out or obstruct its implementation within their borders. Published January 30, 2014

President Barack Obama delivers his State of the Union address on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday Jan. 28, 2014. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

President ignores Obamacare stumbles while taunting GOP to try to do better

"I know that the American people are not interested in refighting old battles," President Obama told Congress in his State of the Union Address. "So again, if you have specific plans to cut costs, cover more people, and increase choice — tell America what you’d do differently. Let’s see if the numbers add up." Published January 28, 2014

** FILE ** In this Dec. 17, 2013, file photo, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas speaks with reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

Congress takes Obamacare contraception battle to court

Congress took its battle over Obamacare and contraception to court Tuesday, with Democrats filing legal briefs with the Supreme Court arguing the administration’s coverage mandate promotes public health, and senior Republicans countering that it flouts religious freedom laws for which they had voted. Published January 28, 2014

GOP senators offer blueprint to fix Obamacare

Republican senators on Monday announced a sweeping plan to fix the most unpopular parts of Obamacare, ditching the individual mandate requiring Americans to have coverage but still offering taxpayer help for those looking to buy policies. Published January 27, 2014

FILE - This Dec. 20, 2013, file image shows part of the website in Washington, that notes to enroll by Dec. 23 for coverage starting as soon as Jan. 1, 2014. Anticipating heavy traffic on the government's health care website, the Obama administration effectively extended Monday's deadline for signing up for insurance by a day, giving people in 36 states more time to select a plan. (AP Photo/Jon Elswick, File)

D.C. finding success enrolling key youths in Obamacare

Young people aren't signing up fast enough for President Obama's health law -- except in the District, which is actually doing a pretty good job of getting them enrolled by going to where the youngsters are. Published January 26, 2014

"That was just a grab bag of misinformation and distortion coming from him," Rep. Peter King, New York Republican, says about comments made by Sen. Rand Paul, Kentucky Republican, on "Fox News Sunday."

U.S., Russia at odds over Olympics safety

Icy relations between United States and Russia haven’t warmed enough to ensure a safe Winter Olympics in Sochi next month, federal lawmakers said Sunday. Published January 26, 2014