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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.

MIT economist Jonathan Gruber, a key architect of Obamacare, testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Dec. 9, 2014, before the House Oversight Committee health care hearing. (AP Photo/Molly Riley) ** FILE **

White House brushes off revelations about Jonathan Gruber's role in crafting Obamacare

The White House Monday defended its portrayal of MIT professor Jonathan Gruber as a contractor with a limited role in crafting Obamacare, pushing back at GOP lawmakers who uncovered a steady stream of emails between President Obama's team and the economist who once commented on the "stupidity of the American voter." Published June 22, 2015

The White House this week once again is zeroing in on climate change, a top priority for President Obama during his final 18 months in office. (Associated Press)

CBO cautions Obamacare foes about full repeal

Obamacare stretches into much of the U.S. economy, and outright repealing it, as Republicans are gearing up to try one last time, would be a tricky proposition, according to the latest estimates from Congress' official scorekeeper. Published June 21, 2015

Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga., speaks on Capitol Hill in Washington in this June 4, 2013, file photo. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, File)

House votes to repeal medical device tax

The House voted Thursday to repeal Obamacare's tax on medical devices, setting the stage for a legislative tweak to the contentious health law that could actually make it through Congress. Published June 18, 2015

People display a representation of the Liberian flag as they celebrate Liberia being an Ebola free nation in Monrovia, Liberia, Monday, May 11, 2015. Liberians are gathering in the streets of the capital to celebrate the end of the Ebola epidemic in this West African country. Monday's festivities come after the World Health Organization declared over the weekend that Liberia was finally Ebola-free. (AP Photo/ Abbas Dulleh)

NIH teams with Liberia for study of Ebola survivors

The U.S. government is teaming up with Liberia to find out what happens to Ebola survivors in the long run, studying whether previously infected persons can transmit the deadly virus through close or sexual contact and if they've built enough immunity to thwart future infection. Published June 17, 2015

Rep. Charles Boustany, Lousiana Republican (Associated Press)

House GOP offers plan to deal with Obamacare ruling

House Republicans pushed a plan Wednesday to extend Obamacare's subsidies for the rest of the year if the Supreme Court this month says dozens of states are no longer eligible for the tax credits that have helped millions afford insurance under the law. Published June 17, 2015

House Oversight Committee member Rep. Thomas Massie, Kentucky Republican (Associated Press) **FILE**

Patent-reform bill hit from both sides of the aisle

A reform bill aimed at cracking down on so-called "patent trolls" is being rushed through the House without adequate debate on what it could do to smaller inventors, a bipartisan group of lawmakers said Tuesday. Published June 16, 2015

Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Florida Republican, has raised concerns about the U.S.' ability to conduct large-scale reconstruction efforts. (Associated Press)

Loss of Obamacare subsidies would hit the South hardest: report

Obamacare supporters got personal Tuesday, targeting congressional Republicans whose districts would stand to lose the most if the Supreme Court rules later this month that the administration has been breaking the law in paying part of residents' health insurance costs. Published June 16, 2015

Paul Ryan      Associated Press photo

House set to repeal Obamacare tax on medical devices

The GOP-led House is set to repeal Obamacare's medical device tax this week, forcing Democrats either to stand by President Obama's signature law at all costs or side with industry groups who say the tax on pacemakers, artificial joints and other products is a job killer that stifles innovation. Published June 15, 2015

"I think it is the time to move on," Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell told members of Enroll America, a nonprofit that drives customers into the Obamacare marketplace. (Associated Press)

Democrats cast Supreme Court's subsidies ruling as final Obamacare showdown

President Obama and his top aides are increasingly portraying this month's Supreme Court ruling on Obamacare subsidies as the final showdown for the health care law, saying that if the justices rule in their favor it should be the signal for Republicans to give up their attacks and move on to other fights. Published June 14, 2015

Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La., who leads a conservative faction of lawmakers in the Republican Study Committee, speaks with reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, June 19, 2014, after the House Republican Conference elected him to be the new House majority whip, replacing current whip Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., who was elevated to majority leader. Scalise was in a three-way race with Rep. Peter Roskam, R-Ill., and Rep. Marlin Stutzman, R-Ind.  (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite) **FILE**

GOP takes aim at funding for Basic Health Program

House Republicans suing President Obama on claims he funded an Obamacare program without their permission now say the administration is sending millions out the door for a second, optional state program without asking Congress for the money first. Published June 14, 2015

Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, June 10, 2015, before the House Ways and Means Committee hearing on President Barack Obama's health care law. Burwell said it will be up to Congress and the states to decide what to do should the Supreme Court annul federal subsidies that are a cornerstone of President Barack Obama's health care law.  (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

HHS chief: Time for GOP 'to move on' if administration wins Obamacare case

Before a receptive audience, President Obama's top health official said Thursday she looks forward to a debate "on the substance, not the politics," of health reform if the Supreme Court sides with the administration this month in a ruling that could make or break Obamacare in dozens of states. Published June 11, 2015

President Barack Obama speaks at the Catholic Hospital Association Conference about healthcare reform, Tuesday, June 9, 2015, at the Washington Marriott Wardman Park in Washington. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Obama boasts Obamacare is 'reality' in U.S. even as Supreme Court ruling looms

Weeks before a major Supreme Court ruling that could kneecap his signature achievement, President Obama defended his health overhaul Tuesday as an historic achievement that will lift up millions for years to come, dismissing its steady stream of political and legal headwinds as stubborn attempts to "ignore reality." Published June 9, 2015

Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Commissioner John Koskinen testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, June 2, 2015, before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs committee hearing examining the IRS data breach. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

IRS can't verify qualifications of every Obamacare subsidy recipient, watchdog says

The IRS can't weed out bogus Obamacare exchange customers and didn't have critical information on others more than halfway through the tax filing season this year, making it impossible to figure out whether Americans were claiming too much money from the government, the tax agency's auditor said Tuesday. Published June 9, 2015