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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.

President Barack Obama greets people after speaking at The City Club of Cleveland, Wednesday, March 18, 2015, in Cleveland. Obama visited Cleveland, in the all-important presidential battleground state of Ohio, delivering a speech focusing on middle-class economics and to draw contrasts with Republicans over federal spending. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

Obamacare still disliked more than liked, but gap narrowing: poll

More Americans disapprove of Obamacare than those who favor it, 43 percent to 41 percent, although the gap between those camps has narrowed to its closet margin in over two years, according to a March tracking poll released Thursday. Published March 19, 2015

House Budget Committee Chairman Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga. holds-up a synopsis of the House Republican budget proposal as he announces the plan on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, March 17, 2015. The plan includes a boost in defense spending but cuts in the Medicaid program for the poor, food stamps and health care subsidies. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

GOP budget repeals Obamacare, cuts $5.5 trillion

House Republicans unveiled a 2016 budget Tuesday that would cut $5.5 trillion from spending over the next 10 years, repeal Obamacare and change Medicare into a voucherlike system — key parts of a fiscally punishing blueprint designed to end red ink in less than a decade. Published March 17, 2015

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