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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.

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2013, before the House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing on the implementation failures of the Affordable Care Act. Playing catch-up with a long way to go, President Barack Obama's new health insurance markets last month picked up the dismal pace of signups, the administration reported Wednesday.   (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Sebelius adds yet another exemption for Obamacare

A group of Democratic senators are taking heart in signals by the Obama administration Thursday that people who lost their existing health plans because of Obamacare's requirements will be eligible for an exemption that lets them purchase a catastrophic plan. Published December 19, 2013

Florida Dem senator defends NSA snooping efforts

Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson of Florida takes issue with a new report that would roll back the National Security Agency's phone records program, saying the program collects "business records" and requires a court order to get the actual content of calls. Published December 19, 2013

Sen. Johnny Isakson, Georgia Republican

Calls for military pension fix grow

Georgia senator joins the chorus of lawmakers Thursday who want to see the pain of budget cuts spread around to alleviate the pressure on military retirees. Published December 19, 2013

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, pictured, joins Republican gubernatorial candidate for Virginia governor Ken Cuccinelli at a campaign rally at their Bristow campaign headquarters, Bristow, Va, Tuesday, October 29, 2013. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)

La. Gov. Jindal defends suspended Duck Dynasty star

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal has weighed in on A&E's decision to suspend the patriarch of its popular show, "Duck Dynasty," saying it is "a messed-up situation when Miley Cyrus gets a laugh, and Phil Robertson gets suspended." Published December 19, 2013

Pelosi raises alarm over handling of classified Obamacare documents

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi asked Speaker John A. Boehner on Wednesday to hold a classified briefing on Obamacare documents acquired by Rep. Darrell Issa — the chamber's top investigator — that Democrats say could compromise HealthCare.gov's security. Published December 18, 2013

Kurt DelBene, President of the Microsoft Office Division, talks about Microsoft Office 365 at a news conference in San Francisco, Tuesday, Oct. 19, 2010. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)

GOP lawmaker: Best 'fix' for Obamacare is a mercy killing

A Louisiana Republican lawmaker is recommending that Kurt DelBene, the former Microsoft executive who will oversee the federal Obamacare website next year, should just advise President Obama to scrap his signature health care law. Published December 18, 2013

"There must be accountability for this astounding failure and waste of taxpayer money," Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus says, in calling for the firing of Kathleen Sebelius. (Associated Press)

Priebus sees conservative activist groups as GOP 'asset'

Republican National Chairman Reince Priebus said Wednesday he considers outside conservative groups to be an "asset" to the party, despite recent harsh criticism from House GOP Speaker John Boehner. Published December 18, 2013

President Barack Obama speaks as he stands with Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and people who support the Affordable Care Act, his signature health care law, in the Rose Garden at the White House in Washington, Tuesday, Oct. 1, 2013. Congress plunged the nation into a partial government shutdown Tuesday as a long-running dispute over President Barack Obama's health care law forced about 800,000 federal workers off the job, suspending all but essential services. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

5 million fall into Obamacare coverage gap

The Kaiser Family Foundation said Tuesday that roughly 5 million Americans will earn too much money to qualify for a government health-insurance program and too little to qualify for subsidized coverage under Obamacare next year. Published December 17, 2013

Kurt DelBene, President of the Microsoft Office Division, talks about Microsoft Office 365 at a news conference in San Francisco, Tuesday, Oct. 19, 2010. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)

Microsoft's DelBene to oversee Obamacare repairs, replacing Zients

President Obama's top health official said Tuesday she has selected a Microsoft executive Kurt DelBene to replace Jeffrey Zients to manage the troubled federal Obamacare website, acknowledging that HealthCare.gov still needs strict oversight. Published December 17, 2013

** 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)

Expert: Obamacare 'death spiral' fears exaggerated

A new report says is it important that younger Americans enroll in the new insurance markets tied to Obamacare, but fears of a "death spiral" for the new law if they don't may be overblown. Published December 17, 2013

** FILE ** Marilyn Tavenner, the administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Oct. 29, 2013, before the House Ways and Means Committee hearing on the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Administration cites Obamacare boost for seniors

The Obama administration said Tuesday more than 25 million people on traditional Medicare received at least one free preventive care service during the first 11 months of this year because of the new health care law. Published December 17, 2013

President Barack Obama, accompanied by Vice President Joe Biden, gestures as she speaks to media before a meeting with newly-elected mayors from across the country, Friday, Dec. 13, 2013, in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington, to discuss job creation and ensuring middle class families have a pathway to opportunity. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Obama meets with tech executives from Apple and Google

President Obama's meeting Tuesday with executives from tech companies such as Apple and Google will focus in part on the flawed rollout of HealthCare.gov, the federal web portal tied to Obamacare. Published December 17, 2013