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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.

FILE - In this March 13, 2015 file photo, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry speaks to a meeting of the American Chamber of Commerce in Egypt in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. In an interview with CBS News, Kerry said the U.S. is pushing for Syrian President Bashar Assad to seriously discuss a transition strategy to quell the Arab country's four-year civil war. (AP Photo/Brian Snyder, Pool, File)

John Kerry chides GOP for Senate letter on Iran nuclear deal

Secretary of State John F. Kerry says the decision by Senate Republicans to interject themselves into nuclear negotiations with Iran was "calculated to interfere" with his efforts to limit Tehran's ability to build an atomic bomb. Published March 15, 2015

Ayru Crymef of Washington, and others with the Service Employees International Union, hold signs depicting numbers of people who have lost heath care coverage during a rally outside the Supreme Court in Washington, Wednesday, March 4, 2015, as the court was hearing arguments in King v. Burwell, a major test of President Barack Obama's health overhaul which, if successful, could halt health care premium subsidies in all the states where the federal government runs the insurance marketplaces. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Obamacare special enrollment for penalty payers a one-time deal, admin says

The Obama administration said Friday the special enrollment period that kicks off this weekend for uninsured Americans who missed Obamacare's signup deadline and face a tax penalty will be a one-time deal, as the nation confronts the confluence of health care and tax season for the first time. Published March 13, 2015

In this Feb. 19 2015 file photo, U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, speaks during a press conference at the Japan National Press Club in Tokyo. (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi, File)

House leaders say they're working on fix to outdated Medicare formula

Top House lawmakers said Friday they're inching closer to a plan that repeals the formula that pays doctors for each service provided under Medicare and replaces it with one that rewards providers for high-quality care — a measure that both sides of the political aisle have said is long overdue. Published March 13, 2015

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, who just a few days ago praised the GOP for the bill and said his Democratic troops were on board, vowed Wednesday to block the legislation until the abortion language is stripped. (Associated Press)

Human trafficking bill held up by fight over abortion language

A bill to combat human trafficking was supposed to be a major bipartisan achievement — instead it's devolved into a bitter fight over abortion, with Democrats objecting to language that would prevent spending federal funds for the procedure and Republicans saying it's the same provision Democrats have accepted dozens of times before. Published March 11, 2015

Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell departs a governors only luncheon after giving an address during the  National Governors Association Winter Meeting in Washington on Feb. 22, 2015. (Associated Press) **FILE**

HHS secretary: Supreme Court ruling against Obamacare would harm millions

Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell on Monday rebuked critics who want the Supreme Court to invalidate Obamacare's subsidies in much of the country, saying such a ruling would harm millions of Americans who "need, want and like" their health coverage. Published March 9, 2015

Sasse

GOP newbie Sasse driving Obamacare off-ramp

Freshman Sen. Ben Sasse insists he's not a leading man in the GOP's script to replace Obamacare, but he's playing a key set-up role just three months into his tenure on Capitol Hill. Published March 8, 2015

Former Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius speaks with reporters outside the Supreme Court in Washington, Wednesday, March 4, 2015. The Supreme Court heard arguments in King v. Burwell, a major test of President Barack Obama's health overhaul which, if successful, could halt health care premium subsidies in all the states where the federal government runs the insurance marketplaces. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Supreme Court tries to make sense of poorly drafted Obamacare language

Supreme Court justices divided sharply Wednesday as they heard a third challenge to Obamacare, grappling with the law's poorly drafted language and trying to decide how broadly Congress intended for the government to pay subsidies to help Americans buy insurance. Published March 4, 2015

FILE - This Jan. 25, 2012, file photo shows the U.S. Supreme Court Building in Washington. A Supreme Court case over the legality of federal subsidies that help millions of Americans afford health coverage under President Barack Obama’s health care law poses risks to both political parties. Republicans and conservatives who brought the case say many of those subsidies are illegal. Should they win, the states whose residents would be hurt are disproportionately represented by Republicans in Congress.  (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

Opening shots fired in Obamacare Supreme Court battle

Federal lawmakers staked out partisan positions on the eve of Obamacare's second major showdown before the Supreme Court, with Democrats urging the justices not to create chaos in more than 30 states, while Republicans mapped out an escape route from the contentious health overhaul. Published March 3, 2015