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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.

Herschel Pecker of Washington, D.C., left, and others rallying on both sides of the debate over private insurance plans must cover birth control at a rally outside the Supreme Court as the court hears oral arguments in Affordable Care Act challenges, the Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores Inc. and Conestoga Wood Specialties Corp. v. Sebelius, Washington, D.C., Tuesday, March 25, 2014. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)

Supreme Court justices seek contraceptive compromise

The Supreme Court searched Tuesday for ways to let women get birth control without the government forcing their employers to cover the cost, as justices tried to balance business owners' religious rights against allowing religious objections to a broad range of public policy issues. Published March 25, 2014

** FILE ** Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius defends President Barack Obama's health care law, the Affordable Care Act, as she answers questions from Republican members of the House Ways and Means Committee during its review of President Obama's budget requests, Wednesday, March 12, 2014, on Capitol Hill in Washington.  (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

GAO sees hurdles blocking e-records

Government investigators say unclear standards and funding problems are thwarting medical providers from shifting to electronic health records and sharing their data, an ambition that's supposed to save the U.S. health care system billions of dollars each year. Published March 24, 2014

Texas Gov. Rick Perry speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) held at the Gaylord Hotel, National Harbor, Md., Friday, March 7, 2014. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)

Rick Perry leaves options open for 2016 White House run

The Texas governor, who is winding down his 14-year tenure in Austin, had to drop out of the GOP presidential primary race for president in 2012 after he failed to pick up wins in the early states. Published March 24, 2014

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, center, Malaysia's Minister for Transport Hishamuddin Hussein, left, and director general of the Malaysian Department of Civil Aviation, Azharuddin Abdul Rahman, delivers a statement to the media regarding the missing Malaysia Airlines jetliner MH370, Saturday, March 15, 2014 in Sepang, Malaysia. Najib said Saturday that investigators believe the missing Malaysian airliner's communications were deliberately disabled, that it turned back from its flight to Beijing and flew for more than seven hours. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)

Malaysian PM: Flight 'ended in southern Indian Ocean'

Malaysia's prime minister said Monday the missing airplane that's befuddled investigators and anguished passengers' families for two weeks is presumed lost over the Indian Ocean in a spot far off the west coast of Australia. Published March 24, 2014

A Malaysian women stand in front of messages board and well wishes to people involved with the missing Malaysia Airlines jetliner MH370, Sunday, March 16, 2014 in Sepang, Malaysia. The Malaysian passenger jet missing for more than a week had its communications deliberately disabled and its last signal came about seven and a half hours after takeoff, meaning it could have ended up as far as Kazakhstan or deep in the southern Indian Ocean, Malaysia's Prime Minister Najib Razak said Saturday. (AP Photo/Vincent Thian)

Malaysia P.M. to discuss 'new developments' in search for plane

Malaysia's prime minister is set to address "new developments" in the search for the plane that disappeared somewhere over the Indian Ocean two weeks ago, befuddling investigators and leaving the families of the missing passengers in anguish. Published March 24, 2014

New York's Yankees trump Mets — even in Queens

A frequently cited polling group known for political analysis has delved into the nation's traditional pastime, finding folks in the Big Apple favor the New York Yankees 61-27 percent over the Mets, even in Queens. Published March 24, 2014

FILE - In this March 14, 2014, file photo, Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus gestures while speaking before the California Republican Party 2014 Spring Convention in Burlingame, Calif. Republicans are trying to convert hard-won gains in statehouses to successes in this November’s congressional elections and the 2016 race for the White House, according to a review of their campaign finance reports. (AP Photo/Ben Margot, File)

GOP campaign officials mark Obamacare anniversary with warning for Dems

Top Republican campaign officials on Friday marked the fourth anniversary of Obamacare's passage by warning Democrats they will suffer from a lack of credibility among midterm voters this fall because of the health care law's stumbles and flawed promises. Published March 21, 2014

**FILE** President Obama, accompanied by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of Calif., leaves after giving his State of the Union address on Capitol Hill in Washington on Jan. 28, 2014. (Associated Press)

Obamacare a winning issue for Democrats, Pelosi says

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi predicted Thursday that Obamacare will be a winning issue for her party in congressional elections this year, despite a high-profile loss in Florida and hang-wringing among her fellow Democrats. Published March 21, 2014

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of Calif. meets with reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, March 13, 2014. The top Democrat in the Republican-controlled House responded to Senate Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., and her fight with the CIA this week, calling her courageous. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Top Dems insist Obamacare a political 'winner'

Top House Democrats marked Obamacare's fourth anniversary by declaring it a political "winner" in congressional swing districts, despite a high-profile recent loss for the party in Florida and votes to water down the law by dozens of their colleagues. Published March 20, 2014

In this March 10, 2014, photo, White House press secretary Jay Carney answers questions during his daily news briefing at the White House as he spoke about the situation in Ukraine. In a diplomatic dig at Russia, President Barack Obama is hosting the new Ukrainian prime minister at the White House on March 12, a high-profile gesture aimed at cementing the West’s allegiance to Ukraine’s fledgling government. The meeting between Obama and Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk comes as a pro-Russian area of Ukraine readies for a referendum Sunday to determine its future.  (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

States seek wiggle room on Obamacare deadline

The White House insists it is sticking by the March 31 deadline for enrolling in Obamacare, but states are forging plans to try to find extra wiggle-room that could let Americans complete their sign-ups months after the "drop-dead" date passes. Published March 19, 2014

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of Calif. meets with reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014, the day after President Barack Obama's State of the Union address. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Brief bipartisanship period over Medicare 'doc fix' breaks down

Despite a brief burst of bipartisanship, both sides have retrenched in their search for a solution to exploding payments to doctors who treat Medicare patients, with the House GOP planning to put a partisan bill on its chamber floor Friday. Published March 13, 2014